Media Reforms

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Promises

1.We will ensure laws for timely implementation of Wage Board decisions and for ensuring that media houses pay journalists their salaries and bonuses on a regular and timely basis.

2.We will also ensure that media owners provide insurance, training and protective cover for their journalists.

3.PEMRA will be made autonomous

4.Government advertisement will be rationalised and not be made a tool to harass or bribe the independent media.

5.PBC and PTV will be made autonomous with their own Board of Governors similar to the BBC model.

Syed Talat Hussain talks about the provision of protection of journalists as claimed by PTI in their manifesto.

Progress:

21 August 2018

Fawad Chaudhry, Minister of Information and Broadcasting (MoIB), said that PTI’s government has “lifted all political censorship in state-run media outlets”. He further added that Pakistan Television (PTV) and Radio Pakistan will have complete independence producing editorial content.

Syed Talat Hussain talks about the decision of PTI government regarding the merger of regulatory bodies into one authority PMRA.

29 August 2018

Fawad Chaudhry said that Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) and Press Council of Pakistan (PCP) will be merged to form a new authority Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority (PMRA). It will simultaneously look electronic, print and social media. He also announced that PTV National to be converted into PTV Politics which will live telecast proceedings of the provincial assemblies, parliament and standing committees.

10 October 2018

On the call of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) journalists protested nationwide against unequal distribution of ads, unpaid salaries, indirect censorship by state and threats to journalists.

19 October 2018

Fawad Chaudhry announced a comprehensive outline for the proposed regulatory body PMRA. The draft of the outline was also sent to the concerned media bodies including PEMRA and PCP.

Fakhar ur Rehman, Senior Correspondent, CNN Turkish, explains the media censorship in the context of the PTI government.

November 22, 2018

Addressing the ‘National Security, Nation Building and Mass Media’ conference, Fawad Chaudhry said that in order to regulate social media government needs to have a relationship with big social media giants like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram.

He also said that the efforts to merge academies of Radio Pakistan and Pakistan Television Corporation are being made. They’ll be merged to form an institute ‘Pakistan Media University’ that will train students as well as professionals working in the industry.

December 10, 2018

Pakistan Advertising Association (PAA) opposed the proposed draft for the merger of regulatory bodies for print, electronic and digital media referring to it as ‘virtual death for advertising industry’. They concluded that they would support government’s actions in favour of merit-based advertising but not any meaningless changes.

Syed Talat Hussain elaborates on the strategy of PTI government on media censorship.

December 18, 2018

Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Fawad Chaudhry, briefed the PM on the reforms being proposed in the media organisations. PM said that he believes in critical role of freedom of expression in socio economic development of a country. He also said that the government will provide full support in every possible manner.

January 24, 2019

All Pakistan Newspaper Society (APNS) while expressing gratitude to Asad Umar for exemption of print media from levy of import duty. President APNS Hameed Haroon said that it will be a relief to the already financially drained newspaper industry.

Merger of media bodies to formulate PMRA was approved by the federal cabinet. Fawad Chaudhry said that cabinet has approved the proposed steps and recommended consultation from journalists during the process.

Syed Talat Hussain compares the current government’s (PTI) progress with previous governments (specifically PML-N)

January 26, 2019

APNS refuses to accept the new regulatory body PMRA.  President APNS Hameed Haroon said that it would be impractical to regulate digital, print and electronic media under one body. He added that even though the government assured the involvement of concerned stakeholders, PMRA is being formed without any such consultations.

February 13, 2019

Government acquired the land for the establishment of Media University in the capital.

Fawad Chaudhry said that the government has created a mechanism and is ready for a crackdown on social media against hate speech. He considered it to be a greater problem than formal mediums.