Broadcasters’ body steps in to help Bol employees
The country’s top broadcasters body has stepped in to protect the interests of journalists whose future has been put at stake by Bol Network, a sister company of Axact.
The ambitious media project was the brainchild of Axact owner and chief executive Shoaib Ahmad Shaikh, who is now under arrest for allegedly running a worldwide fake degree empire, which was exposed by The New York Times.
The channel’s launch, slated for Ramazan 1, hangs in the balance as investigations continue in the diploma mill scandal. Renowned names like Kamran Khan and Azhar Abbas have already left the upcoming channel, leaving behind hundreds of journalists and technicians with an uncertain future.
On Tuesday, the Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) announced it has decided to help reintegrate the struggling media professionals at Bol into its member channels.
“After consulting its members on June 1, the PBA is adopting the policy of hiring back as many media professionals as possible by member PBA channels to the best of their capacity,” read a statement issued by the association.
To facilitate the professionals, the PBA has set up a resume collection and forwarding facility at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The PBA said that some unscrupulous elements by setting up a media organisation tried to take the cover of independent media in order to protect their illegal operations. “It is apparent that Axact was venturing into media to protect its illegal businesses and conceal its source of wealth,” the PBA statement said. The crisis that has emerged has affected Axact and Bol Network, putting at risk hundreds of media-related jobs.
The PBA alleged the owners, presidents and CEO of Bol were in full knowledge of the illegal source of income and evasion of duty on equipment, but the working journalists and technicians simply fell prey to the entire scam.