Media ‘red lines’: ‘Revamped code of conduct a month away’
ISLAMABAD: The government’s committee is inching closer to revamping the code of conduct for print and electronic media, according to Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Affairs Irfan Siddiqui.
On Thursday, Siddiqui told The Express Tribune that the code would not only ensure freedom of expression but also set certain red lines’. “We are moving closer to agree on a consensus mechanism robust enough to take action against any violation,” he said.
Siddiqui revealed that the forum is likely to be headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court. He said the committee’s work is due to be completed within a month and the response from the media so far has been encouraging.
The government supports the freedom of media and respects freedom of expression but it should not be bereft of responsibility, he said. “Being a journalist, I would go to any limit for the sake of the media’s freedom but I do believe that in order to keep this freedom intact the media has to fulfill the prerequisite of responsibility,” he added.
On May 9, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif constituted a committee headed by Siddiqui and ordered it to review the existing code of conduct for print and electronic media. Committee members include the president of the Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors, president of the All Pakistan Newspapers Society, president of the Pakistan Broadcasters Association, law, justice and human rights ministry’s secretary and additional secretary for the information ministry.