Media urged to introduce ‘self-regulatory systems’
KARACHI: Federal Information Minister Sherry Rehman urged journalist organizations to introduce ‘self-regulatory systems’ and ‘codes of conduct’ to regulate themselves at the Karachi Press Club on Wednesday.
Rehman said that the media was playing an important role in strengthening democracy in the country. Speaking at the Karachi Press Club’s ‘Meet the Press’ program Rehman said that the electronic media in the country had yet to mature. According to the minister a number of people complained that the media had lost control. Rehman said that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government believes in freedom of the press and does not want to impose any restrictions. However, she added that journalist organizations should not only strive for freedom of the media but also introduce self regulatory systems and codes of conduct for journalists.
The information minister said that the country was passing through a critical phase and claimed that undemocratic forces both external and internal were acting to weaken democracy and the country itself. She said that it was also the responsibility of the media to protect the interests of the country and to strengthen democracy.
Rehman expressed her concern over the problems being faced by journalists working in the electronic media, saying that in the future the financial health and capital ranking of soliciting parties will be checked before issuing licenses for TV channels.
Earlier the minister visited the Karachi Union of Journalists protest camp set up outside the Karachi Press Club, where journalists were protesting layoffs from different TV channels.
Rehman expressed fear that the media could aggravate the existing Pak-India tensions by fueling confrontation between the two countries. She urged the media to try and defuse the tension between India and Pakistan whilst promoting peace in the region. The minister reiterated the government’s resolve towards fighting the war on terror, making clear that non-state actors will not be allowed to use the country’s soil. “We will put anything on stake to defend the country,” she added.
Source: Daily Times