The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) has issued guidelines for media coverage of the sit-in at Faizabad Interchange in Islamabad and other cities of the country.
Following is the text of the guidelines issued by the Authority:
(i) To hold themselves to the highest possible standard of professionalism and neutrality in covering security-related events, abide by the profession's behavioural norms so as to maintain the country's sovereignty and security, and refrain from broadcasting news material that may be interpreted against security forces, or broadcasting visual material that may harm them.
(ii) There shall be no live coverage of any ongoing security operation by the law enforcement agencies and a licensee shall air only such information as may be verified/ authenticated by the local administration.
(iii) Not to air, information or breaking news that may lead to the targeting of security forces, the uncovering of their positions or the identification of their areas of deployment, thereby giving the protestors a “free service” while trying to attack them or instigating attacks on them.
(iv) It is forbidden to conduct live or recorded interviews, personally or via satellites, with individuals who are wanted by the law, or who head armed groups or adopt an inciting and escalating discourse, or who harm national security or disclose military or security-related classified information.
(v) Live coverage of incidents of accident, violence, and crime shall not incite, glamorise or in any way promote violence or anti-social behaviour and such coverage does not prejudice the success of an ongoing security operation.
(vi) No licensee shall broadcast any live programme unless there is an effective time delay mechanism put in place in order to ensure effective monitoring and editorial control.
(vii) An appropriate warning shall be given upfront for content which may be potentially disturbing or upsetting so as to enable viewers to make an informed choice.
(viii) No live content shall be aired which is likely to encourage or incite the commission of a crime or to lead to disorder must not be included in television services.
(ix) A licensee has to ensure that no content is aired which is likely to incite, aid, abet, glamorise or justify violence, commission of any crime, terror or leads to serious public disorder; (x) Scenes with violence or suffering such as close-up shots of person brutally tortured or killed shall not be shown.
(xi) A licensee shall refrain from False reporting giving numbers of casualties and number of injured without verification.
(xii) Establish and report the facts, without stereotype or generalisation.
(xiii) The licensee shall not create hurdles in the dispensation of the duties of the law enforcement agencies, rescue agencies, hospitals, and doctors, etc.
(xiv) A licensee shall appoint an in-house committee under intimation to PEMRA to ensure compliance with the Code of programmes and advertisement.
(xv) A licensee shall not air speculative or biased reporting that may compromise any security operation.
(xvi) A licensee shall ensure that any of its reporter, cameraman or other crew does not enter the area where security operation is being carried out without prior permission of the security agency in charge of the operation.
(xvii) Ensure safety and security of their field staff. In this regard, camera crews and reporters should not go beyond the point as identified by the Incharge of the operation and ensure cooperation with law enforcement agencies.
(xviii) A licensee shall provide necessary protective gear to its reporters, cameramen and other crew deployed at any crime incident.
(xix) A licensee shall ensure that no programme or comment is aired which incites or condones acts of violence and encourages a violation of law in the name of religion, sect, community or ethnic group or any other pretext.
(xx) A licensee shall not present the content in a manner which may be disturbing or distressing to children or which may in any way adversely affect their general well-being; (xxi) The licensee shall include appropriate warning through a disclaimer before airing any content that may not be suitable for children.
(xxii) Not broadcast video footage of extremists, protestors, bodies of any victims, statements, and pronouncements of militants, extremists, protestors, and any other act which may, in any way, promote, aid, abet violence, terrorism and public disorder.
(xxiii) Besides above guidelines, all other provisions of Pemra Ordinance 2002, Rules 2009, Regulations, Code of Conduct 2015 and Licence terms and conditions shall remain intact and applicable to the licensees.