President advises media to stop relying on govt for advertisement

Updated 18 Jan 2019

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President says the freedom of press is a fundamental right but it should be exercised with responsibility.— File
President says the freedom of press is a fundamental right but it should be exercised with responsibility.— File

President Dr Arif Alvi on Friday suggested that the media industry should create its own revenue streams instead of depending on the advertisements given by the government, Radio Pakistan reported.

The president was addressing the Pakistan Media Convention organised by the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) in Islamabad.

Dr Alvi highlighted the need for developing self-reliant business models for the media houses. He said freedom of the press was a fundamental right but it should be exercised with responsibility and self-regulation.

Talking about diverse trends in the current age, he said the young generation was hooked more to the social media than print publications. The president was of the view that media was playing a crucial role in strengthening the democratic culture and values in the country.

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry addresses the ceremony.— DawnNewsTV
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry addresses the ceremony.— DawnNewsTV

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhary also addressed the event and advised the media to adopt a sustainable business model which is not dependent on the government.

"Ultimately, the media should have a sustainable model not dependent on the government," said the minister.

He urged the council to conduct a study on the recent crises of the media industry. Chaudhry extended the government's help but said the CPNE was the best platform to conduct such study on why the media was facing a crisis.

The minister urged the media to support a positive narrative regarding the country's economy. "A sustainable media is necessary for creating a stable economy," he said, adding that the media's narrative should be economy friendly.

"The media's interest should side with the country. For example, if we don't support the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), it means that we are shooting ourselves in the foot."

The information minister said foreign investment worth billions of rupees was pouring into the country with Saudi Arabia setting up the third largest oil refinery in the country but the media did not give due coverage to it.

He said CPEC project is the backbone of our economy, but regretted that sometimes the "media buys the western narrative based on anti-CPEC and anti-Pak-China relations agenda".

Referring to the problems of the media industry, Chaudhry said advertisements worth Rs300 million to Rs350 million were issued to the print media during the ongoing month.

Talking about the advertisement campaigns, he estimated that approximately Rs2.7 billion were spent in digital media marketing.

"The [share of] digital advertising in the industry will be at Rs7bn in the next five years," the minister said and urged the print media to develop its digital versions.

"We need to create a feel-good factor as the economy cannot boost without it," said the minister.