Pemra issues advice on airing biased analysis against NAB
ISLAMABAD – The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has issued advice on airing unsubstantiated and biased analysis regarding National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
A statement issued by PEMRA said it has been monitored with concerns that Satellite TV licensees of (news & current affairs category) are indulged in airing highly unsubstantiated, judgmental and unipolar remarks regarding National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and its functioning without getting official point of view of the Bureau with an alleged intent to malign the state institution.
“Whereas, airing of such unsubstantiated and unipolar remarks are in absolute disregard to the earlier instructions of the authority issued from time to time especially in compliance with the orders of the Honorable Supreme Court of Pakistan passed in SOU MOTO CASE NO. 28 OF 2018 dated 12.09.2020 regarding prohibition of discussion on sub-judice and under trail cases,” says the statement.
“Whereas, airing of such content is also in violation of Section-20 (d) & (f) of PEMRA Ordinance 2002 as amended by PEMRA (Amendment) Act-2007, Rule 15(10 of PEMRA Rules 2009 and Clause 3(10(i), 4(2), 4(4), 14(7) (a & c), 4(10), 5, 17 & 22 of Electronic Media (programmes & advertisements) Code of Conduct 2015. The same have been highlighted by the Authority at various instances through advice, warnings, notices, and even during the training sessions with the media persons / reporters,” it added.
“Whereas, all the above referred provisions of PEMRA laws and ruling of the Hon’ble SCP clearly stipulates that all the licensees and anchorpersons as well as the guests shall refrain from voicing personal biases / opinion in any news report or talk show and moderate the programmes in fair, balanced, objective and impartial manner. Moreover, these provisions of law further instruct the licensees and anchorpersons to discuss the investigation / under trail matters in such manner only to provide information to the public and to avoid airing of content including commentary, opinion & suggestions about the potential fate of such cases which tends to prejudice the determination by a court, tribunal or agency etc. Further, the licensees are also obliged through these provisions of law to observe reasonable constraints while extracting contents from court proceedings, police records and court proceedings and to air them fair, accurately and in an objective manner.”
“Now, therefore, all satellite TV Channels (News & Current Affairs category) are once again advised to refrain from airing biased and unipolar analysis in their TV programmes. The licensees are further advised to tighten their editorial oversight and to review the content of programmes/ talk shows through their respective In House Monitoring Committees before its telecast with the prime objective to air content/Analysis fully complied with the relevant provision of PEMRA laws,” it concluded.