PEMRA issues notice to channels for 'provoking anti-national sentiments'

Geo, Dawn, News one, and Dunya issued notices for violating section 20, rule 15 post-PNS Mehran attack.


June 03, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) on Friday issued notices to four local television channels for "being irresponsible and provoking anti-national sentiments among viewers by sensitizing events unnecessarily."

According to a PEMRA press release, some of the talk shows and programmes of Geo News, Dawn News, News One and Dunya News violated Section 20 of PEMRA Ordinance 2002 read with Rule 15 of PEMRA Rules 2009 and clause (1) (d) (g) (h) of Code of Conduct set out in the Schedule-B of PEMRA Rules 2009.

According to the notice, after the PNS Mehran tragedy, it was observed that some news channels were not realising their journalistic responsibility and ethics towards society, institutions and country. Some news channels even went overboard in maligning the role of security agencies, armed forces and state institutions.

The press release cited Geo News’ televised interview of an alleged eye witness of PNS Mehran attack thereby creating undue sensation and hype without verifying facts and realising the grave repercussions that such "irresponsible journalism" could have on country. The eyewitness’s account later proved to be fake, the notice stated.

The release called on the media to exhibit their responsible side, pointing out that no media anywhere in the world undermines the reputation, respect, sovereignty or integrity of its nation, institutions or its forces or pass aspersions against them.  Instead, media in the world safeguard their national and strategic interests, said the press release.

Media in Pakistan has been given enormous freedom of expression and speech but a line must be drawn between desirable and undesirable information by the media on their own.  Media today has to understand their responsibility before it is too late, said the release.

COMMENTS (19)

Imran | 10 years ago | Reply Well i will not say about others but i think PEMRA is right about Geo.They should be banned in Pakistan.Whole Jang group to be poste din India and they start their Amen Ki Asha from there.So that we are clear who is with us and get rid of "Mir Jafar" and "Mir Sadiq".Oh my God, i Just realised that Jang group is also of some "Mir". I think its in their Blood. Atleast if at all i am able to find Hamid Mir then certainly me and few of my fellows are ready to kick his ass and you people know what will happen,Hamid Mir will start crying "Oh agencies has hit me.Armed forces has beaten my ass lolzzz
the Truth | 10 years ago | Reply PEMRA is correct that the Pakistani Media is irresponsible, however the reasons stated in the press release are utter non-sense. Pakistan's media care only about viewership, and will say any and everything no matter now incorrect in order achieve that. While it was fine when that discriminate approach to journalism was only applied to the civilian Government, that changed entirely when it involved the military. This situation is nothing new in Pakistan and if anything should serve as yet another wake up call to Pakistan. The military has long promoted the media's irresponsible behavior as a way to reign in the civilian government. Now those chickens have come home to roost and they don't like it very much. This is very much the same as how successive Pakistani Government have dabbled with the religious extremists. The naive belief that "they are our children and will never turn on us" As we have now learned in both cases, that's just not the case.
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