Govt advertising serves as oxygen to print media: APNS
KARACHI – The APNS has welcomed the intent of the Chief Justice of Pakistan to examine government advertising in the print media.
The President, All Pakistan Newspaper Society (APNS), Sarmad Ali in a statement issued on Wednesday has said that the Chief Justice has observed that despite the failure to provide utilities, the provincial governments spend taxpayers money on massive advertisements in the media for self-promotion at nation’s expense.
The APNS clarified that government advertising serves as oxygen to the liquidity starved print media, and stopping government advertisements to media at this stage will have a crippling effect on the economy of the newspapers as the viability of the free press is dependent solely on its financial independence.
The APNS pointed out that print media in general and small and regional newspapers in particular, mainly depend on revenue earned from advertisements as the cover price of newspapers does not even meet 5% cost of producing a newspaper.
The advertisements issued by federal and provincial governments basically highlight the performance of the governments by disseminating information regarding their respective achievements. This practice is not peculiar to Pakistan but is common across the developing world where advertisements are the main source of information to the people of a country, the statement added.
The APNS is of the opinion that action to limit government advertisements in the print media would adversely affect the financial viability of newspapers which are already facing financial crunch due to economic and industrial slowdown in the country.
The APNS requested the three-member bench formed by the honourable Chief Justice to take this critical issue into consideration, the statement said.