Senate body directs resolution of journalists’ problems
ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting expressed deep concerns over the problems being faced by media persons due to late salary payments and working conditions. The committee, on Tuesday, directed information secretary to take necessary actions and resolve the problems of the media persons.
Senator Kamil Ali Agha chaired the meeting at the Parliament House.
The committee was briefed about the performance of the Ministry of Information and its attached departments.
Agha said that media has always played an important role in the socio-economic development of the country and created awareness amongst the masses on the issues that had direct impact on their lives. Print and electronic media have greater roles in transforming the societies through objective and authentic information, he added.
The Senate standing committee discussed the issue of release of advertisements to the print media and called for a transparent mechanism and merit-based policy in that regard. Favoritism in the release of advertisements marred the performance of the fourth pillar of the state, the committee observed.
It directed the Ministry of Information to look into the matter and keep proper check and balance on the release of advertisements.
The committee stressed the need for providing authentic news and information to the people and urged the media to verify the news before breaking it. The committee urged the press councillors and press attaches who have been posted abroad, to make efforts for the positive projection of the country on international media.
Members of the committee suggested that Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) must play a more proactive role to ensure proper monitoring of the news channels for the content and authenticity of news.
A sub-committee was also constituted to suggest recommendations for amendments in the laws and streamlining other important matters related to journalism in the country. Senator Farhatullah Babar would head the sub-committee, whereas Senator Zafar Ali Shah and Senator Daud Khan Achakzai would be its members.
Earlier, Ministry of Information secretary and other officials of the committee said that the ministry has been assigned the role of projecting the policies of the government through print and electronic media along with development of free media in the country.
The committee assured its support to the ministry to overcome the issues that hamper its performance and vowed to make all-out efforts to address genuine concerns of the journalists.
Besides senior officials of the Ministry of Information, Senator Saeed Ghani, Senator Farhatullah Babar, Senator Farah Aqil, Senator Shirala Malik, Senator Malik Najumul Hassan and Senator Syed Zafar Ali Shah attended the meeting.