Financial crunch behind media industry woes: Firdous
ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan has acknowledged that the media industry is facing problems because of the country’s “financial crunch”.
She has, however, rejected some reports that the government has imposed a ban on the release of advertisements to two big media groups of the country.
Dr Awan was talking to reporters after visiting the house of Capital TV cameraperson Fayyaz Ali, who passed away earlier this week after suffering a heart attack.
Fayyaz Ali was facing serious financial difficulties because staff members of the TV channel were not being paid for several months.
The PM’s special assistant said that it was “extremely tragic that a man who fulfilled his responsibilities was paid after his death”.
Expressing her grief over the death, Dr Awan said that a data bank would be created to keep track of workers whose salaries were not being paid.
At the same time she criticised the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority and other relevant institutions, saying that these regulatory bodies were not fulfilling their responsibilities.
She suggested that all stakeholders needed to sit together and design a roadmap to address the difficulties being faced by media workers in Pakistan. “It is extremely important that journalist bodies, media workers, the government and all other stakeholders sit together and address all problems being faced by workers,” she added.
She acknowledged that the owners of media houses were facing the overall impact of Pakistan’s economic condition.
“Together we have to develop a roadmap along with the accountability and penalty conditions for those who fail to implement the agreed roadmap,” she added.
The PM’s special assistant announced that the Capital TV’s management and the government had decided to pay Rs1 million to the family of the deceased cameraman. Besides, Fayyaz Ali’s brother would be given a job in the information ministry and the government would provide a house to the deceased’s family under the prime minister’s housing scheme.