APNS slams bureaucracy bid to control media -
Pakistan Press Foundation

APNS slams bureaucracy bid to control media

KARACHI- The Executive Committee of the All Pakistan Newspapers Society has deplored the attempt to maintain bureaucratic control over the media of the country and has asked the Government to remove obstacles which are hindering the infusion of dynamism in the country’s print and electronic media, said the Secretary-General APNS, Arshad A. Zuberi in Karachi.

At a meeting chaired by the APNS President, Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, the Executive Committee decided to adopt ways and means to strengthen the free flow of information and views in the country and endeavour for stopping of laws and rules which may be instrumental in holding back the upgrading of technology and improvement in the quality standards which comes with competition as the country appears to be failing in combating the propaganda onslaught from across the border.

Maintaining the governmental control through a licensing process on newsprint import and direct interference in establishment of the wage structure in the print media through, laws enshrined during the dictatorial era have already hindered the growth of the print media and continuation of government monopoly on electronic media has resulted in diluting the impact of Pakistan’s viewpoint on disputes with its neighbour. Their media success has become possible through the free flow of information and unrestricted growth of print, cable, terrestrial and satellite television, radio and even now the internet. The members felt that media development requires a more visionary approach accompanied with steps to reduce the cost structure in dissemination of news and views and an effective subtle approach to national integration. “Monopoly control of media can be best achieved through a liberal licence issuing policy and not through ban on cross media ownership,” noted the APNS.

The meeting expressed its anxiety over the one-sided stand taken by the authorities in the dispute between (Millat) and (Leader) publications with its workers and asked the office-bearers to endeavour for amicable resolution of the dispute and avoid unemployment of several journalists and Press workers. The members also demanded that the government should make public its criteria for listing on its media list and make the delisting process transparent.

The Executive Committee expressed dismay in delay of clearing advertising arrears by the Federal and Sindh Government despite commitments at the highest level and expiry of agreed deadlines on one pretext or another. The members asked the office-bearers to make fresh efforts in this connection and empowered baiting of advertisements of govt department and autonomous bodies that are overdue.

The Committee decided to give provisional accreditation to M/s Message Communications (Pvt) Ltd, Lahore, and grant Associate Membership to (Daily Naya Akhbar), (Lahore, Islamabad and Multan), (Daily Bolan) Hub and (Daily Rahber), Hub Balochistan, The meeting was attended by Mir Shakil-urRahman, President, Jamil Ather, Senior Vice-President, Zia Shahid, Vice-President, Arshad A Zuberi, Secretary-General Waqar Yousuf Azmi, Joint Secretary, Muhammad Aslam Kazi, Finance Secretary Mumtaz A Tahir (Aftab), Dr Jabbar Khattak (Awami Awaz), Syed Fasih Iqbal (Balochistan Times), Masood Hamid Dawn, Najmuddin Sheikh Deyanat, Arif Nizami (The Nation), Kazi Asad Abid (Ibrat), Syed Shahid Hashmi (Jasarat), Javed Mehr Shamsi Kaleem, Aamir Mahrnood Kiran, Mushtaq A Qureshi (Naey Ufaq), Umer Shami (Pakistan), llyas Shakir (Qaumi Akhbar), Pir Sufaid Shah Hamdard (Wahdat) and Mrs Masuda Ahmed (The Teenager).

Source: The Nation