Govt plans new body to regulate media: Fawad

Published October 19, 2018
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry. — Photo/File
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry. — Photo/File

ISLAMABAD: Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Thursday announced a broad outline of the newly proposed Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority (PMRA) to oversee print, electronic and social media.

The announcement set alarm bells ringing among stakeholders including journalists who complained that they had not been consulted on the issue and expressed scepticism over the government move that they said could contain media freedom in the country.

While briefing the Senate standing committee on information and broadcasting, Mr Chaudhry said the PTI government would regulate all media and “no one will be able to defame anyone under the new law”.

Amid uneasy gestures by senators, he told the committee that the government was working on a proposal to bring all media regulatory bodies under the proposed PMRA. This would be done by merging all existing rules and acts related to Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra), Press Council of Pakistan (PCP) and Pakistan Telecom­munication Authority (PTA), he said, adding that it would introduce one-window operation to address complaints and other regulatory aspects of the media.

Referring to the proposed law, Information Secretary Shafqat Jalil told the committee that in future electronic media would be allowed to air advertisements only after the approval of the information ministry.

The information minister said the draft had been forwarded to Pemra, PCP and other media bodies including Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors, All Pakistan Newspapers Society and the Pakistan Broad­casting Association.

Published in Dawn, October 19th, 2018

Opinion

Editorial

Punjab crisis
01 Dec, 2022

Punjab crisis

ADMINISTRATIVE chaos has ruled Punjab ever since the ouster of the PTI government in April, deepening the...
Quetta attack
01 Dec, 2022

Quetta attack

It would be foolishness of the highest order were the authorities to ignore the emerging threat.
World AIDS Day
01 Dec, 2022

World AIDS Day

AS countries mark World AIDS Day on Dec 1, a timely report from Unicef has renewed concerns about the severe...
A call for bloodshed
30 Nov, 2022

A call for bloodshed

The state has wasted precious time by not consolidating its success in pushing TTP out of its strongholds in the north.
Missing childhoods
30 Nov, 2022

Missing childhoods

THE fact is that despite some legal efforts to end the curse of child marriage taking place in Pakistan under the...
Unemployment concerns
30 Nov, 2022

Unemployment concerns

THE ILO finding that labour market recovery from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in Pakistan, as in many other...