Absurd diktat to Pakistan media: Prepare people for petrol price hike, be fair on coverage of anti-corruption body

WION Web Team
Islamabad Published: Mar 25, 2021, 11:12 AM(IST)

Pak PM Imran Khan (FILE) Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Citing past court rulings, the advisory reminded Pakistani channels of instructions to "refrain from voicing personal biases/opinion in any news report or talk show and moderate the programmes in a fair, balanced, objective, and impartial manner".

A Pakistani watchdog has issued two absurd advisories to media: Praise Imran Khan government for low petrol prices to prepare them for a price hike,  and be 'fair' in discussing matters regarding the anti-graft body.

“All satellite channels and FM radio licenses are hereby requested to please launch an appropriate campaign to inform the general public about the factual statics of petrol prices and prepare them for likely increase in petrol prices as result of rise in petrol prices in international market,” said one of the advisories from the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra).

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Another document asked news and current affairs channels to refrain from airing "unsubstantiated and biased'' analysis of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB)   and its case proceedings. It asked media to seek NAB's point of view every time before airing news items regarding the body.

Perma said it had "monitored with concerns" that various talk shows and news programmes broadcast "highly unsubstantiated, judgmental, and unipolar remarks" about NAB "without getting an official point of view".

Citing past court rulings, the advisory reminded Pakistani channels of instructions to "refrain from voicing personal biases/opinion in any news report or talk show and moderate the programmes in a fair, balanced, objective, and impartial manner".

“Whereas, airing of such unsubstantiated and unipolar remarks are in absolute disregard to the earlier instructions of the authority issued from time to time especially in compliance with the orders of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of Pakistan passed in SOU MOTO CASE NO. 28 OF 2018 dated 12.09.2020 regarding prohibition of discussion on sub-judice and under trail cases,” it said.

“Whereas, airing of such content is also in violation of Section-20 (d) & (f) of PEMRA Ordinance 2002 as amended by PEMRA (Amendment) Act-2007, Rule 15(10 of PEMRA Rules 2009 and Clause 3(10(i), 4(2), 4(4), 14(7) (a & c), 4(10), 5, 17 & 22 of Electronic Media (programmes & advertisements) Code of Conduct 2015. The same have been highlighted by the Authority at various instances through advice, warnings, notices, and even during the training sessions with the media persons / reporters,” it added.

(With inputs from agencies)

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