TV channels cautioned over crime re-enactment shows
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) has expressed concern over what it says is a rising trend of broadcasting objectionable content in crime re-enactment shows.
Pemra issued an advice to TV channels on Wednesday on the basis of recommendations of its Councils of Complaints (COC) which held a joint meeting on Monday.
Pemra has forwarded to the councils 17 cases about TV channels’ violation of the code of conduct.
“Some of the violations are mild, whereas a few channels are showing obnoxious re-enactment programmes during primetime,” a Pemra official said, adding that the law allowed shows with adult themes to be aired between 11pm and 4am.
The cases will be reviewed by the councils and fines may be imposed on the channels continuing to broadcast such content at other times.
“The COCs can impose a fine of up to Rs10 million for such a violation, but usually heavy penalties are not imposed after initial violations,” the official said.
“However, if any channel continues to flout Pemra’s directives, a severe punishment of a shutdown for 15 days can also be imposed.”
There are two councils of complaint for Punjab and one each for the other three provinces and the federal capital — each with six members belonging to various segments of the society.
Pemra urged all TV channels to comply with the Electronic Media (Programmes and Advertisements) Code of Conduct, 2015.
The advice said the channels should form in-house monitoring committees to pre-screen crime re-enactment shows and ensure that the checks required for reporting of crimes are applied to these programmes.
“However, no re-enactment of sex crimes shall be allowed,” the authority said.
The regulator, which had earlier conveyed to the channels the criteria for entertainment programmes, said the provisions regarding obscenity and gory scenes should apply to re-enactment shows.
Pemra also urged the channels to exercise caution in handling discussions on foreign policy issues.
“It has been directed that the in-house monitoring committees of TV channels must also ensure that the hosts or the participants of the programmes do not pass derogatory remarks about any religion, sect, community, or use visuals or words contemptuous of religious sects and ethnic groups or which promote communal and sectarian attitude or disharmony.”
It reminded the channels to ensure installation and proper functioning of a time-delay mechanism at the production and master control rooms to avoid airing of inflammatory statements or videos during live transmission.