PPF Weekly Content Monitoring Report 8-14 August
Quetta Blast kills 2 journalists
At least 73 people, mostly lawyers and two journalists killed, whereas more than a hundred injured in Quetta blast on August 8. After the murder of president of the Balochistan Bar Association (BBA) Bilal Anwar Kasi, a large number of lawyers gathered outside the emergency ward of the Provincial Sandeman Hospital, known as Civil Hospital, where the body of Bilal Anwar Kasi had been brought. The suicide bomber hit the crowd of lawyers and media persons.
Two cameramen Mehmood Khan of Dawn News and Shahzad Khan of Aaj TV lost their lives while Dunya News reporter Faridullah and 92 News cameramen Muhammad Fateh got injured in the line of duty while reporting from hospital.
The Nation and Roznama Pakistan reported that, Chief Minister of Balochistan Sanaullah Zehri announced to give jobs to the wife and brother of martyred cameraman of Aaj TV Shahzad Khan.
Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) strongly condemned the attack in Quetta hospital and asked government to immediately announce the compensation amount for the families of martyred journalists and also provide health facilities to the injured persons. United Nations and MQM Rabita Committee also condemned the attack on journalists.
Journalists staged a walkout from the press gallery of National Assembly (NA) to express solidarity with families of victims, especially journalists who lost their lives while performing their duty.
On August 9 journalists, lawyers, political and social activists strongly condemned and staged protest against Quetta carnage throughout the country. Protestors also asked to set up a special life and health insurance system for the journalists.
The Nation and Business Recorder on August 14 reported that, Tando Jam Press Club on August 13 organized a ceremony to pay tributes to the martyred journalists and lawyers. Adviser to Sindh Chief Minister on Information Moula Bux Chandio while speaking as chief guest at the event said, “Despite hurdles and difficulties, the journalists continued their efforts for disseminating facts to masses”
In another news report published by Dawn newspaper on August 10 which discussed the importance of life insurance for journalists. A union leader Afzal Butt said, “Media houses should provide a couple of bulletproof jackets, as well as ensure that a first aid box is placed in every DSNG van.”
Dawn on August 10 also published an article with the title “Media perils” in this article the writer discussed the hazards of conflict reporting that media persons in Pakistan routinely face.
Discussing the Quetta incident the writer said, “Coercing reporters to obtain exclusive information and footage in the aftermath of a blast is simply wrong, even for upping the ratings”
The Quetta incident was widely covered by different news channels from August 8 to August 10. 92 News, ABB TAKK, Aaj News, ARY News, Capital TV, Dawn News, Dunya News, Express News, Geo News, Jaag TV, KTN News, NEO News and SAMAA aired tickers and detailed news whereas Dunya News in its program “Aaj Kamran Khan Key Saath” and Geo News in its program “Capital Talk” also discussed the incident.
Different newspapers, including Dawn, Regional Times, Express Tribune, The Nation, Business Recorder, The News, Balochistan Express, Intekhab, Roznama Pakistan, Nawa-i-Waqt, Business Recorder, Dunya, Amn, Roznama Express also published news stories and articles.
Journalist protection bill
National Assembly (NA) Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said that a draft bill for protecting journalists would be passed in the NA soon.
The News, Roznama Pakistan and Amn on August 13 reported that, while addressing to a condolence reference for the martyred journalists of Quetta blast held at Parliament House he said, “Media had rendered sacrifices for the sake of democracy and development of the country and there should be insurance for the media persons”
NA asks PEMRA to act against TV channels
National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq has lodged a complaint with the PEMRA chairman against various TV channels for using disrespectful words and levelling baseless allegations against parliamentarians.
Express Tribune, Jang and Roznama Express on August 10 reported, the speaker said that “Disciplinary action should be taken against the channels, anchorpersons and analysts who made slanderous remarks against lawmakers.”
PEMRA bans ARY News programme
The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) banned ARY News programme “Live with Dr Shahid Masood” for 45 days.
Jang on August 11, Dawn on August 12 reported that, Dr. Shahid Masood on 22 June episode accused the Sindh High Court Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah of taking a bribe.
According to PEMRA, a show-cause notice was issued on July 19 and the channel was given seven days to respond, but the reply received on July 23 was unprofessional and no apology was tendered.
ARY News on August 11 and 12 whereas Dunya news on August 12 also aired tickers and detailed news on the issue. According to ticker aired on ARY News, politicians declare that ban on Dr.Shahid Masood is a double standard of PEMRA.
The Nation and Pakistan Today, on August 13 reported that, The Islamabad High Court (IHC) asked PEMRA Chairman to appoint an officer not below the rank of director to clarify under which law the PEMRA had banned a television show. Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb issued the orders on an appeal filed by anchorperson Dr Shahid Masood against ban on his show. The hearing of the case was then put off till Aug 17.
The News on August 14 reported that, PEMRA Chairman said that referring to Dr. Shahid Masood show Supreme Court had called to take strict action against the channels criticizing judiciary and asked why their licenses were not being cancelled and only fines of a few lakhs were being imposed. In response Absar Alam said that he had informed Supreme Court that PEMRA was trying to be lenient, as in such cases only the culprit should be punished not the whole channel or its staff.
Maalik movie banned
Commerce Ministry slapped ban on the export of Ashir Azeem’s film ‘Maalik’ on the appeal of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Sources of Commerce Ministry have also asked the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) with the request to take proper steps to implement the ban.
Business Recorder, Pakistan Today and Jang on August 10 published news stories regarding the ban on film.
PEMRA to issue DTH licences
The News and Jang on August 13 reported that, In its 16th meeting, PEMRA extended the date for filing of application for Direct-to-Home (DTH) licensing to September 15 and also decided to go for a crackdown on illegal Indian DTH.
In other news reports published in The Nation and Express Tribune on August 14, While addressing a press conference PEMRA Chairman Absar Alam said, media should respect the decisions of PEMRA. He further added, “Authority will start issuing licences to companies for establishing and operating DTH services in the country from October which will help promote culture and national language across the country equally”
APNS criticizes government
The All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) has expressed its concern over the consistent ignorance of the Ministry of Information to honour its various commitments made to the APNS in the past three years.
Dawn, The Nation, The News, Regional Times and Amn on August 11 reported that, the meeting of the APNS’s executive committee was held in Islamabad under the chairmanship of society’s President Sarmad Ali on August 10. The issues discussed in the meeting involved outstanding dues, increase in advertisement rates, allocation of print advertising budget, fixation of the quantum of advertising for member publications and implementation of regional quota in letter and spirit.
Later the ministry hosted a dinner for the members of the executive committee where Federal Minister for Information & Broadcasting Senator Pervez Rashid, Adviser to PM Irfan Siddiqi, Secretary Information Saba Mohsin and Principal Information Officer Rao Tehsin Ali Khan discussed the issues in detail and Information Minister has assured the members of committee to address their problems immediately.
Newspapers violating laws
The Ministry of Information on August 8 said that, “Publishing Quranic verses and translation of the same in newspapers is a violation of law and an offense related to ‘defiling of Holy Quran’.”
Pakistan Today, on August 9 reported that, upon the request of Ministry of Religious Affairs, Press Information Department (PID) wrote a letter to the President of APNS, CPNE and Chairman Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA), requesting them to ensure observation of respect of the verses of Holy Quran, the NA was informed.
SC orders PEMRA to submit list of cases
The Supreme Court asked PEMRA to submit list of pending cases against the PEMRA orders in high courts and the Supreme Court with regard to campaign against the state institutions, including judiciary so that the record of above mentioned proceedings could be examined.
The News and Jang on August 12 reported that, PEMRA Chairman Absar Alam sought time to submit details of pending cases in court against PEMRA’s action against television channels for airing campaign against the judiciary. The court adjourned the hearing of the case till September 8
PTV directed to properly cover parliamentary proceedings
The Nation, Pakistan Today, Jang and Roznama Express reported that, Minister for Information Pervaiz Rashid said “Pakistan Television has been directed to give proper coverage to proceedings of the parliament. PTV is a state run television and it is its responsibility to give proper coverage to elected representatives of the people”
Medical treatment for journalist demanded
Local journalists staged a protest demonstration for providing medical treatment to their colleague journalist Ameer Bux Burdi who is in critical condition due to failure of kidneys. Because of poverty, he cannot continue his treatment.
The above mentioned news was published in Regional times on August 13. The writer did not provided complete facts in the news story. The most important fact that is the name of organization was not mentioned from where the protestors and their colleague journalist belongs to.
Other Media Related News
The Lahore High Court issued a stay order on implementation of a seniority list containing 60 officials and directed the PEMRA chairman to submit an explanation by 30th of August; Resolution in Punjab Assembly to ban TV channels who telecast Indian dramas and films; JKLF appeals to media that Kashmir issue should be highlighted as much as possible; the District and Session Judge Khairpur on August 7 rejected the application for registration of FIR against a journalist for kidnapping of two girls; reception was arranged by Muttahida Mazdoor Federation in honor of newly elected members of Khairpur Press Club on August 9; sub-committee of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage will meet to look into the working, administrative and legal affairs of PEMRA; Bureau Chief Peshawar Dunya News Safi Ullah Gull selected for Presidential Award.
During the week PPF monitored 64 news, tickers, headlines and programs related to Pakistani media that were covered in the following television channels – 92 News, Aaj News, AbbTakk, ARY News, Capital TV, Dawn News, Dunya News, Express News, Geo News, Jaag News, Khyber News, KTN, Neo News, NewsOne, SAMAA and TV One.
There were 78 news stories, editorials, articles and photographs published in 16 daily English and Urdu language newspapers in that include Dawn, The News, The Nation, Express Tribune, Business Recorder, Pakistan Today, Regional Times, Jang, Dunya, Roznama Express, Nawa-e-Waqt, Pakistan, Intikhab, QuamiAkhbar, Amn, Roznama Pakistan.