Journalists want Pemra to check hate speech on TV channels
ISLAMABAD: Working journalists have asked the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) to effectively check hate speech in TV programmes and take up the matter with the managements of TV channels.
They have also sought the regulator’s support to curb the general trend of building pressure on the already overworked media persons working in the conflict zone.
The tendency for “sensational” stuff should come to an end which is a violation of Pemra’s Code of Conduct.
These concerns were raised during five-day training sessions with media persons/journalists of various media houses in Peshawar on Pemra Code of Conduct 2015. Pemra has recently concluded these training sessions in the city.
According to the journalists, who actively participated in these sessions, “Pemra has not been able to check hate speech by a couple of TV channels which is setting a bad precedent for those channels doing responsible journalism.” They also suggested improvement in the implementation of the Code of Conduct.
The media persons were unanimous in their view that owners and senior management put pressure on them to cover certain news in such a way as is extremely unprofessional and unethical.
In Peshawar, during the five days, Pemra held interactive sessions with the TV channels including AVT Khyber, Express News, Geo News, Dunya News, Samaa TV, Abb Tak News, Mashriq TV, Channel92 and Channel 24. A total of 146 journalists of Peshawar were part of these interactive sessions.
The sessions were part of the Pemra training programme on Electronic Media Code of Conduct launched in January early this year in Islamabad with some of the leading journalists and anchorpersons being part of the programme.
Earlier, Pemra conducted interactive sessions with 207 working journalists from various channels in Islamabad. A team of PEMRA trainers comprising Muhammad Tahir and Sadia Widad is conducting these training sessions with TV channels all across the country.
During the sessions they highlighted significance of in-house editorial committee and effective time-delay mechanism to avoid violation of Electronic Media Code of Conduct 2015.
Pemra Monday issued a show-cause notice to Channel 92 News for airing a two-year-old clip of a Karachi school function as breaking news.
The regulator said that by airing the clip, the channel attempted to portray that indecent activities were taking place in schools.
Pemra said that PIA Model Secondary School had complained to them about this and termed the news report as baseless.
The school pointed out the reporter Rana Khalid’s reporting had caused damage to the school’s reputation and sought action against him for doing so.
The channel has been given seven days to explain why a fine of Rs1 million not be imposed on it or its license suspended or canceled.