PPF Weekly Content Monitoring Report 29 August- 4 September
PEMRA to take action against Indian DTH TV service
Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has decided to take strict action against illegal Indian DTH (Direct-to-Home) TV service and airing of unnecessary foreign content by TV channels and cable operators.
Aaj News on August 31 aired detailed news, while The Nation, Business Recorder, and Dawn on September 1 reported that addressing a press conference at the authority’s headquarters PEMRA Chief Absar Alam said, “Adequate time is being given to the cable operators and satellite channels to adjust their timings as per legal requirements; otherwise, a punitive action will be taken against the two important segments from Oct 15.”
According to PEMRA rules, only 10 percent of foreign content is allowed to be telecasted. Mr Alam further added that the authority was also planning to take action against morning shows violating code of conduct.
Media houses attack case
Director General (DG) Rangers Major General Bilal Akbar has revealed that Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) workers had planned the August 22 attack on a media house.
Geo News, Dawn News, Express News, NEO News, NewsOne, 92 News, and Abb Takk aired breaking news and detailed report on August 29, while Express Tribune, Business Recorder, Pakistan Today, Balochistan Express, Regional Times, Dunya, Roznama Pakistan, Intekhab on August 30 reported that talking to reporters during his visit to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Major Gen Akbar said that MQM workers planned and implemented the attack on the instructions of their party chief Altaf Hussain and Rabita committee. Labour division members of the party gathered workers from different parts of the city and asked them to attack the media house. Six party members have already confessed to their involvement in the attack.
Different News channels, including Dawn, Neo News and NewsOne, also covered follow-up news on August 30 in this regard.
Aaj News on August 29 aired a ticker, while Business Recorder, Regional Times and Pakistan Today on August 30 reported that the administrative judge of the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) moved the bail appeals of three female workers of MQM to ATC-VII for the hearing and asked the judge to take decision on merit. The three women of MQM – Rabia, Qurat-ul-Ain and Sumera – were arrested for attacking the media houses on August 22. Their counsel filed the bail appeals and told the court that his clients were not present on the spot and they are innocent.
Dunya and Roznama Express on September 4 reported that ATC accepted the bail plea of three female workers of MQM.
Other news stories covered by Abb Takk on September 1 and Dawn, Pakistan Today, and Express Tribune on September 1 reported that the administrative judge of ATC on August 31 sent three leaders, including Kanwar Naveed Jamil, Shahid Pasha and Qamar Mansoor, along with 40 activists of MQM on a 14-day judicial remand in treason, anti-state transgressions and media houses attack cases. The ATC judge also directed police to submit the investigation reports within two weeks so that the proceedings could be taken forward.
The News on September 2 reported while Express News, Samaa TV, 92 News, and Capital TV aired breaking news and headlines on September 3 that ATC had handed over 10 more workers of MQM on a one-day physical remand to police on September 1.
ARY News aired a ticker on August 29 and detailed news on August 30, while Pakistan Today on August 30 reported that International non-profit and non-governmental organization, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urged the British government to take action against London-based leader of MQM, who openly provoked his party workers to attack media houses in Pakistan.
ARY News, Dawn, Express News and Jaag aired tickers, detailed news, and breaking news that National Assembly (NA) has passed a resolution against MQM Chief Altaf Hussain and attack on media houses. NA also denounced the attack on media and anti-Pakistan slogans.
Amn on August 29 reported that journalists of Larkana Press Club staged a protest demonstration against the attack on private television channels.
IHC asks PEMRA to submit SC orders in defamation case
Islamabad High Court (IHC) has asked PEMRA to verified copies of Supreme Court’s guidelines issued after notice was taken against defamation campaign against SC on the electronic media.
The Nation on September 2 reported that Justice Aamer Farooq conducted the hearing of the case, wherein ARY channel has challenged PEMRA’s order banning the programme “Live With Dr Shahid Masood” over defaming the Chief Justice Sindh High Court. The judge adjourned the hearing for further proceedings till PEMRA submits the copies of the orders.
Federal minister seeks security for media houses and journalists
Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Pervaiz Rashid has said that security measures should be taken to guarantee security and safety to the media houses and journalists.
Express Tribune, The Nation and Roznama Express on September 3 reported that Federal Minister Pervaiz Rashid presided over the sixth ministerial committee meeting on September 2. He discussed security related issues of media houses and said that the government was working on the formation of Journalist Welfare and Protection Bill 2016. The bill includes clauses concerning endowment funds, compensation for the deceased and injured media workers, insurance schemes for sustainable development, and security of media industry.
Media advised to stop promoting breaking news trend
Advisor to Chief Minister Balochistan on Information, Sardar Raza Baraich said that the breaking news and high ratings trend had instigated security risks to journalists; therefore, TV channels should end that trend.
Dawn on September 1 reported that Mr Baraich said: “A number of journalists have been killed in targeted attacks in different parts of the country, particularly Balochistan, due to emergence of commercialism in media and breaking news trend.” He expressed these views at a media workshop organized by Individualland Pakistan on security of journalists on August 31.
Amnesty asks Pakistan to investigate journalists’ disappearance
The News on August 30 published news report in which Amnesty International said that in Pakistan, journalists experience serious threats to their physical safety and freedom of speech and expression. It is the responsibility of government to provide security to the journalists. Amnesty International’s South Asia Director Champa Patel said, “Pakistan’s authorities must promptly, thoroughly and effectively investigate the abduction and suspected enforced disappearance of Zeenat Shahzadi.”
Zeenat Shahzadi, a 24-year-old journalist was on her way to work on August 19 in Lahore when some armed men kidnapped her. She is still missing.
Journalists should inform public about climate change
Environmental experts have urged media professionals and journalists to play their part in informing public about dangers of Climate Change and other environmental degradation issues.
Business Recorder and Balochistan Express on September 1 reported that while addressing a one-day capacity building workshop on the topic “Challenges of Climate Change-Implications for Pakistan and Role of Media,” Aamir Amjad, Senior Programme Officer Friedrich Nauman Foundation for Freedom (FNF) said that FNF wants to inform media persons about the consequences of climate change and what they can do to tackle this issue for saving people from massive damages caused by climate change and natural calamities. Different prominent agriculturists, environmentalists, social workers and media persons attended the workshop.
Other media related news
Neo News on September 1 aired a ticker that an accuse had been arrested for involvement in a cracker attack on a private TV Channel. This ticker did not contain complete facts relevant to the story as the TV channel did not mention the name of victim channel and accused person.
Sub-committee of Standing Committee for Information held a meeting and discussed the code of conduct for PEMRA and Electronic Media; PEMRA issued a notice to the Jaag TV management for sacking its reporter without following the legal process and asked the channel to submit a reply on September 6; Armed persons attacked Abb Takk News office in Karachi; Imran Khan wrote a letter to Chairman PEMRA and expressed reservations over the fine for 13 News channels; A meeting was held in Karachi to review security for media houses, which was attended by Federal Minister for Political Affairs Senator Moula Bux Chandio; PFUJ unification committee suspended just before the voting of unified body on August 27; A female anchor Irza Khan was injured after falling from a crane while covering the rally of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in Lahore; ARY News transmission suspended in many areas of Lahore; The Assistant Director of FIA Cyber Crimes has started an investigation against Karachi-based journalist Muhammad Tahir, who leveled accusations against renowned journalists and scholars and issued a list of journalists based on fake letter.
DC Munawar Ali Mahesar visited Bhan Syedabad Press Club and held a meeting with local journalists where he announced Rs 100,000, air conditioner and furniture for Bhan Syedabad Press Club on September 2; Individualland Pakistan organized a three-day training workshop on journalistic skills which concluded on August 29; The elections of All Pakistan Akhbar Farosh Federation was held on August 30 where Syed Afzal Hussain Shah was appointed as President and Chaudhry Naseer as chairman; Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) organized a two-day training workshop for the security of journalists in Hub. The Mass Communication Department of University of Balochistan organized a one-day seminar on the “Role of journalists in development and human rights promotion in context of Balochistan” on Aug 29. The seminar was organized in collaboration with Pak-US Alumni Network (PUAN) and Monthly Balucea Magazine.
PPF also monitored news about demise of Zahid Malik, the Editor-in-Chief and publisher of daily English language newspaper Pakistan Observer. He died on September 1 at the age of 79 and was laid to rest at the Islamabad graveyard. Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ), Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE), All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), and political parties expressed grief over the death of Zahid Malik.
During the week, PPF monitored 42 news, tickers, headlines and programs related to Pakistani media that were covered in the following television channels – 92 News, Aaj News, Abb Takk, ARY News, Capital TV, Dawn News, Dunya News, Express News, Geo News, Jaag News, Khyber News, KTN, Neo News, News One, Samaa TV, and TV One.
There were 52 news stories, editorials, articles and photographs published in 16 daily English and Urdu language newspapers that include Dawn, The News, The Nation, Express Tribune, Business Recorder, Pakistan Today, Regional Times, Jang, Dunya, Roznama Express, Nawa-i-Waqt, Pakistan, Intikhab, Quami Akhbar, Amn, and Roznama Pakistan.