KARACHI: The Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) has called upon the government to consult editors, journalists, publishers and other stakeholders before carrying out legislation on any media law.

On Wednesday, Federal Inform­ation Minister Fawad Chaudhry had hinted at formation of a ‘Pakistan media regulatory authority’ to replace the Pemra (Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority) and the press council.

In a joint statement issued on Thursday, CPNE president Arif Nizami, senior vice president Imtinan Shahid and secretary general Dr Jabbar Khattak recalled that repeal of the Press Ordinance was the outcome of a long struggle by the CPNE, Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, members of civil society and political activists.

They said no civilised society saw laws discriminating against media as a good practice.

“The CPNE has a clear stand that there is no need for special media laws as media should be regulated through ordinary laws.”

The CPNE leaders further stated that since the print, electronic and digital media had separate functions, problems and impact, it would not be wise to enact a single law for the three categories.

They further said that any move to control media under the garb of media regulation would never win acceptance and support in the country.

“The CPNE feels that creation of an environment for media freedom is the need of the hour, but before any related legislation the stakeholders must be consulted. It would be much better if the subject of information is left to provinces in view of the 18th Amendment,” the statement added.

Published in Dawn, August 31st, 2018

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