Playing a critical role: Panel asks state TV, radio to educate public on polls | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

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Playing a critical role: Panel asks state TV, radio to educate public on polls

“Radio Pakistan will ensure impartial and thorough coverage of the elections to fulfill its public responsibility,” said Solangi.

ISLAMABAD: The Senate standing committee on information and broadcasting called upon Pakistan Television (PTV) and Radio Pakistan on Monday to educate people about the upcoming general election and ensure that their coverage is both balanced and wide-ranging.

In a statement issued at the end of a meeting held in the Parliament House under the chairmanship of Senator Kamil Ali Agha, the committee’s members said they had discussed broadcasting policies of state-owned media outlets and reviewed their performance.

Managing Director of PTV Yousuf Baig Mirza and Director General Radio Pakistan Murtaza Solangi gave a briefing on the policies of their respective institutions.

Senator Kamil Ali Agha, who heads the panel, said that the state-owned broadcasting organisations should play a pivotal role in informing the masses and increasing awareness of upcoming elections. Agha expressed appreciation for the code of conduct drawn up by Radio Pakistan for coverage of this year’s elections. The code, according to the senator, will set a precedent for other media institutions to follow.

He also said that the importance of radio is increasing day by day and it could play a critical role in providing the basic information that will create awareness among the people on the voting procedure and its importance.

The committee members also urged the PTV administration to collaborate with other television channels and provide basic information about the election to the masses so that the maximum number of people will cast their ballots. The chairman also urged PEMRA to play its role in overseeing private broadcasters during the elections.

Radio Pakistan Director General Murtaza Solangi briefed the committee about the code of conduct developed for the radio, saying that his station covers almost 90% of the territory in the country and it plays a significant role in educating people about everything.

“Radio Pakistan will ensure impartial and thorough coverage of the elections to fulfill its public responsibility,” said Solangi.

Solangi also shared that Radio Pakistan will educate and inform voters by deputing its reporters at key locations around the country, as well as running a marathon transmission on Election Day. Being a public sector broadcaster, he said sensationalism and hype would be generally avoided.

Agha said PTV should resume its role as an institution for mentoring new talent and provide opportunities to those who want to play a professional role in the organisation. He also directed PTV to create a balance in programmess produced by its own production staff and those acquired from the market.

“PTV is a large broadcasting organisation and it has its own viewership and it should make its own dramas,” Agha said.

Earlier‚ the PTV managing director informed the meeting that PTV acquires 70% of its dramas from private producers, while 30% are produced by its own staff. He further briefed the committee that the culture has abruptly changed and that’s why PTV has begun round-the-clock broadcasting to provide information to the people.

The Express Tribune


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