KARACHI: Media workers affiliated with 24NewsHD TV channel are facing job losses after the channel was suspended by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) and ceased operation on Aug 31.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its local affiliate Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) on Thursday condemned the suspension order and urged Pemra to bring 24NewsHD back on air, said a press release.

Following the suspension, the future of around 700 journalists and media workers affiliated with the channel has become uncertain. The issue comes as an intense blow to media workers already challenged by job and pay cuts, leave without pay, and shutdown of media houses during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The IFJ said: “The suspension of the licence may lead to the closure of the channel permanently, thereby making hundreds of journalists jobless. It also makes the livelihood of the journalists and their families associated with the channel difficult during the pandemic. The IFJ urges Pemra to reverse the suspension order immediately and to ease the process of changing the licence type.”

Published in Dawn, September 11th, 2020