ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) has fined 17 satellite TV channels for incorrectly reporting that the Lahore High Court had imposed an interim ban on the airing of anti-judiciary speeches made by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and other Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leaders.

The regulator imposed a fine of one million rupees each on Royal News, Din News, Channel- 92, Dunya TV, Channel-5, AAJ TV, Express News, Roze TV, Samaa TV, Dawn News, ARY News, Waqt TV, Bol News, KTN News, Koh-e-Noor TV and Geo News. A fine of Rs200,000 was imposed on Mashriq TV for airing a ticker.

Pemra had issued show cause notices to the aforementioned channels on April 19, directing their managements to file written replies as well as appear for a personal hearing on April 24.

After hearing the channels’ representatives and examining subsequent written replies, Pemra concluded that the news networks had violated Electronic Media (Programmes and Advertisements) Code of Conduct, 2015, and ignored an advice issued by the authority on April 6.

All channels were directed to air an apology during prime time on Sunday (May 6) for airing false news and to properly utilise time-delay mechanism.

In case of non-compliance with the decision, the authority shall proceed against the channels for suspension of licence under Section 30 of Pemra Ordinance 2002.

Published in Dawn, May 5th, 2018