'Govt will introduce legislation to facilitate mediaÂ' -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

‘Govt will introduce legislation to facilitate mediaÂ’

ISLAMABAD: The government will introduce legislation to help the media, Information Minister Sherry Rehman said on Friday.

“We will also bring about more legislation to facilitate and flourish the media,” she said at a national conference entitled ‘Media Freedom, Laws and Security of Media Persons and Places’, organised by the South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) and South Asia Media Commission (SAMC).

The minister said the new government’s first step was to do away with the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority’s (PEMRA) “black laws”, harming freedom of the media. The government wants to make the PEMRA a true regulatory body, she added.

Rehman also condemned Thursday’s killing of journalist Muhammad Ibrahim in Bajaur, and said an investigation report about the killing would be prepared within the next 48 hours and it would be made public. She announced the establishment of a special fund to compensate the families of journalists who died in the line of duty. She denied that the government was withholding issuance of licences to TV channels, saying that licenses would be issued to the channels once they met the required criteria.

The minister also said the draft of an access to information bill had been referred to the Law Ministry, and that the bill would be enacted in four to five months.
Source: Daily Times
Date:5/24/2008