Draft media policy submitted to Prime Minister
ISLAMABAD, April 23 2006: Information and Broadcasting Secretary Shahid Rafi said on Saturday April 22 that draft media policy had been submitted to the Prime Minister’s office for consideration. Addressing the participants of Capacity Building Course at the Information Services Academy (ISA), he said the policy framework was being developed to streamline the working of the media in accordance with the religious and social norms. “Values should always be preserved,” he added.
Highlighting the role of Ministry of Information (MoI), he said it was a bridge between the government, media and the people besides being a facilitator for providing the media access to information. On the role of the Ministry, he said it formulated policy guidelines and provided enabling environment for legislation and extending professional support to other ministries and federal government organisations to initiate mass awareness campaigns on important social issues like health-care, sanitation and environment.
He said the Ministry was to safeguard and protect the fundamental right to freedom of information and the government had been following the free media policy. He said now it was the responsibility of the media to play a cognisant and responsible role while reporting the events by adhering to the religious and social norms and values.
Referring to the article 19 of the Constitution, Shahid Rafi said the government was vested with the responsibility to maintain and safeguard Islamic values and that goal was being achieved through the MoI. He stressed the need for media experts, specialised education and training facilities. To overcome the inadequacies, he said the Ministry had been actively pursuing in collaboration with the private sector to set up a school for media education.
On the project of Media tower, he said work was continuing on the setting up of the Media Tower at a good pace and within next four months its construction would start.
Commenting on the enforcement of Code of Ethics through Pakistan Press Council, he said the Council Chairman was making all out efforts to make the organisation functional and the MoI was playing the role of a facilitator in this regard.
He urged the ISA to enhance its scope and work as an analytical and research organisation to help the Ministry for formulation of workable policies. The Information Secretary also answered various questions of the participants. ISA Director Ali Akbar in his welcome address highlighted objectives of the course and hoped that it would go a long way in improving the skills of the participating officers. Later, the 26 participants of the course were given away certificates by the chief guest.
Source: B. Recorder