Daily Briefs

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30 October 2019

PEMRA draws flak for using IHC’s order it’s directives

Islamabad High Court issues Contempt notice to PEMRA’s Chairman for using court’s order to issue directives.

PR Daily Brief | Parikshith Pradeep

For immediate release

On 27 October 2019, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority issued directives to all satellite TV channel licensees to prevent them ‘from airing discussions, analysis, speculations on sub-judice matters.’ The document mentions the case between ‘Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif vs. The State, etc.’ to raise objections on ‘speculative discussions’ by media persons. It claims that some news channels through discussions have alleged irregularities in Nawaz Sharif’s bail, thereby staining the court’s reputation. 

As reported in the Dawn, the courts have also looked into concerned news channels for further examination. According to the notification, news channels would be held responsible for spreading disinformation and biased views ‘against judiciary and state institutions’. Despite PEMRA’s notices in the past aimed to restrict the channel’s publishing rights, the regulator claims repeated violations by licensees.

Electronic Media (Programmes and Advertisements) Code of Conduct -2015 forbids news channels from broadcasting debates that can harm matters under judicial consideration. Banking on its code of conduct, confines the role of news anchors to that of moderators and barring themselves from personal opinions. Also, the regulator has directed regular anchors of news channels against appearing in talk shows. PEMRA is the media regulatory authority in Pakistan which regulates and issues licenses to both print and electronic media outlets in Pakistan. 

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