Applications for cross-media ownership
ISLAMABAD – The government has set June 19 (Saturday) as last date for filing of applications by newspaper owners to Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) for acquiring electronic channel licenses.
The decision was taken at a joint meeting of PEMRA, newspaper owners interested in ownership of electronic channels and the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, held at the ministry here on June 9.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed chaired the meeting, which was also attended by Information Secretary Syed Anwar Mahmood, Senior Member PEMRA Noor Saghir and Principal Information Officer Akram Shaheedi, besides senior officers of the ministry and concerned departments.
The meeting dwelt at length on the draft amendments in PEMRA Ordinance 2002, thus, allowing the newspaper owners to also own electronic media channels simultaneously. According to the ordinance, having cross-media ownership was banned. The meeting decided to do away with the existing ‘kinship’ clause from the PEMRA regulations.
Speaking on the occasion, Sheikh Rashid said that draft amendments would soon be tabled in the Parliament after getting them wetted from the Law and Justice Ministry. He said the government has been following a liberal media policy whereby allowing more electronic channels in the private sector.
He said the step had not only help in countering effectively the baseless and unfounded propaganda, but also open new vistas in the employment sector.
The minister said that a revolution in the electronic media field lies ahead that would not only provide job opportunities for a number of people, but would also attract expatriate Pakistanis to return home and work for the country even against comparatively lesser remuneration’s.
“Over 150,000 people would get direct or indirect jobs in electronic media channels,” he said.
The newspaper owners or their representatives, who attended the meeting included Daily Times, Daily Khabrain, Daily Express, Sachal Satellite Communication and Development Asia Company. They appreciated the decision of the government for allowing cross-media ownership.
They said this step would help the country in ushering in new era of media development, enabling the people to have more access to information and knowledge.
Source: Business Recorder