Pemra consultative meeting takes up ‘content regulation’
ISLAMABAD: A Pemra consultative meeting was held to deliberate upon much- needed “content regulation” concluded here, says a press release issued on Tuesday.
The participants included the diversified talent and wisdom from all across the country including media men, civil society activists, educationists, poets and political figures representing Pemra Councils of Complaints and the Authority.
The idea was to come up with a unanimous draft of content regulations that subsequently be floated among stakeholders including public, media organisations and the civil society institutions for their input.
The initiative was taken in light of increasing public complaints against programmes and advertisements on electronic media.
Public hue and cry was increasing against media and Pemra and public wanted some parameters governing the electronic media.
The participants agreed that the task of regulating the electronic media in a multi-ethnic society like Pakistan with diverse socio-cultural norms is indeed a daunting one.
The increasing public outrage against the irregularities in electronic media eg derogatory/ satirical programs, unethical talk shows, slang languages, unedited live broadcasts, vulgarity, obscenity, pirated content, debate on sub-judice issues, unconfirmed news, depiction of banned outfits, blood and gore etc are the important issues, which need to be addressed by Pemra by devising comprehensive “Content Regulations” as also being practiced in developed polities.
Pemra Chairman Dr Abdul Jabbar said that it tends to be the prime responsibility of Pemra to chalk out a high standard, swift and consensual regulatory framework, which electronic media should follow and implement at their own.
Brushing aside the rumours of media muzzle spread by a section of media, Chairman Pemra clarified that we have drafted content regulations and we would request all participants and stakeholders to offer their valuable input.
We are not going to adopt or implement any regulations in seclusion.
I am sure that this would enable Pemra to chalk out unanimous content regulations for broadcast media.
Concluding the workshop, Federal Information Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said that government believes in freedom of expression and media but the freedom must be coupled with responsibility and in conformity to societal norms.
It is the public who should decide that what they want to see.
This is not something exclusive for Pakistan or Pemra; this is being practised all over the world.
I would not be wrong to say that the electronic media is more liberal in Pakistan than in UK and US.
The contents for example, shown here cannot be broadcast in those countries.
Minister clarified that by doing so govt does not in any way intend to put curb on the electronic media through these regulations.