PFUJ slams media curbs on direct poll coverage -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

PFUJ slams media curbs on direct poll coverage

ISLAMABAD: Fearing forced closure of the transmission of all the private TV channels by the government on the occasion of the announcement of the poll results, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) said on Friday the government had issued orders to the media, barring it from direct coverage of the polls, announcement of the unofficial results and conducting surveys.

Addressing a joint press conference at the press club camp office, PFUJ President Rehm Ali and Secretary-General Mazhar Abbas said the statements being given by Caretaker Information Minister Nisar Memon against the media reflected that the caretaker set-up was partial.

The government should clarify if the anchorpersons could carry out reporting besides conducting special programmes, they asked.

They said the government had issued directives to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory

Authority (Pemra) to take stern action after the elections against the TV channels found involved in violating the Code of Conduct.

They termed it a new restriction on the freedom of expression.

The media or press was never before stopped from poll coverage in the history of the country, as Geo and another news channel had conducted full coverage of the 2002 elections, they said.

The caretaker government imposed restrictions on the media coverage of elections, as it feared that the media would expose the alleged rigging in the polls, they added.

Source: The News
Date:2/16/2008