Govt-APNS to form working groups for deletion of dummy publications -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Govt-APNS to form working groups for deletion of dummy publications

ISLAMABAD (APP): Information Ministry and All Newspapers Society Wednesday decided to work closely to set up working groups to ensure possible deletion of dummy publications both from APNS and central media list.

The decision was taken at a meeting of APNS executive committee, which was attended by Information and Culture Minister Mushahid Hussain.

The meeting was held to transcend APNS agenda relating to possible deletion of dummy publications both from APNS and central media list.

The APNS will submit its final list of its publications by April 30 and Information Ministry, in any case, Will provide a completely scanned and rationalised list by the end of June.

Information Minister believed that resolution of problem with respect to expulsion dummy newspapers both from central media list and APNS would yield largest quantum of government advertising desired by the national and regional press.

Mushahid emphasised that the present government believed in solidifying the foundations of press whether financial or ethical.

He stressed that transparency with respect to central media list, allocation of advertisements to various newspapers and strengthening of press of small newspapers and regions were vital part of the new policy of information Ministry.

Information Minister expressed dissatisfaction over the system of financial recovery from the government advertisement followed in the country for the past two decades.

He underlined the need for evolving a system that deliver good results and strengthen the financial forces underlying the freedom of press and expression.

He stressed the need for the preservation of rare newspapers and magazines particularly those, which were involved in the struggle for the independence of Pakistan.

These newspapers and magazines, he said, should be preserved as, “torch-bearers of tradition of freedom of press in the country.

He said he will discuss with officials of Information Ministry the possibility of effecting relief packages in this respect.

APNS President Hameed Haroon stressed that given that Information Minister had once been a member of free press, it was appropriate that he should participate in deliberations central to government-press dialogue.

The participation of information Minister in the APNS meeting is a “rare event in the history of society.”

The meeting also discussed modus operandi for reforms of press laws and proposed creation of the Press Council.

APNS President confirmed that Press Council negotiations were triangular matter between the Information Ministry, APNS and Council for Pakistan Newspapers Editors (CPNE).

It was decided that the government’s proposal on reforms of press laws and creation of Press Council will be submitted to APNS and CPNE for discussion and resolutions.

The resulting document unanimously agreed to then form basis for fully self-regulatory Press Council that might remove some of the ticklish issues in government-press dialogue.

With the participation of Information Minister, a major examination of press advertising at both centre and provinces were enacted where over 20 newspapers and periodicals from all the four provinces presented their points of view.

Mushahid Hussain gave a sympathetic hearing and necessary instructions were issued for rectification of any problem.

Information Minister is expected to meet APNS representatives in late April to wind up the issues that were brought up in the bilateral forum of APNS-government relations.

Source: Business Recorder
Date:3/25/1999