Political satire catches Pemra's eye -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Political satire catches Pemra’s eye

Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra).

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) plans to focus its attention on political satire on TV channels.

The authority has warned that if action is not taken such shows may `invite pubic wrath against the regulator`.

At a meeting here on Friday, Pemra took serious notice of the programmes which, according to its members, amounted to character assassination, humiliation and defamation of dignitaries.

“These programmes are derogatory and the authority has received feedback from the public against these comic shows,” a Pemra spokesman said, adding: “It has been decided that warnings and notices would be issued to TV channels airing such programmes.”

The spokesman said advertisements would be released in print media next week to direct the channels to stop airing funny portrayals of dignitaries.

The news director of a TV channel expressed displeasure over Pemra`s observation and said sarcastic portrayal of political leaders reflected public concern over their actions.

That was the reason people liked such shows, he said. He, however, added that the programmes should not be derogatory or insulting. “Public representatives and politicians are accountable to the masses all the time and not only at the time of elections.”

He said such programmes highlighted only misstatements and false promises by politicians.

FINES: Meanwhile, Pemra imposed heavy fines on 10 TV channels for airing illegal health-related advertisements and one media group for changing its management without approval of the regulator. The meeting imposed Rs1 million fine on each of the channels.

Filmazia, Filmax, Film World, Silver Screen, Starlite, Ravi, Royal, Rohi, News-5 and Vibe TV were fined for airing illegal advertisements.

According to a press release, the channels had been served warnings and notices in the past and were under observation.

A fine of Rs1 million was imposed on the Independent Media Corporation – Geo TV – for violating Section 30 and Rule 16 of Pemra laws which require prior approval of the authority for any change in management.

The authority asked the corporation to revert its management to its position at the time of the award of licence and warned that otherwise it would be compelled to suspend or revoke the licence.

A Pemra official said it was the responsibility of the authority to monitor the ownership and management of the electronic media.

The meeting decided that no foreign broadcast would be permitted on FM radio because it was against the spirit and scope of the licence which required them to promote local communities, regional and local languages, culture, art and education.
Source: Dawn