Senate body for action against ‘irresponsible' journalists -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Senate body for action against ‘irresponsible’ journalists

ISLAMABAD: Senate’s Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting on Friday expressed its concern over telecast of baseless and fabricated stories like the one in which it was stated that the government has decided to revoke the executive order issued for restoration of the judges sacked by Musharraf government on November 3, 2007.

The committee, which met at Parliament House under the chairmanship of Haji Ghulam Ali, asked the government to take action against such news channels which are indulge in character assassination of political leaders, including Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Asfandyar Wali.

Chairman of the Standing Committee Haji Ghulam Ali said that the government, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) and the Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) should take action against such irresponsible journalism. They said that the persons involved in such baseless and defamatory news items should be held accountable under the law.

Senator Tariq Azeem said that the news about the Supreme Court judges was a cause of great concern. Secretary Information Mansoor Suhail said,” the ministry shares the concern of the committee members as such irresponsible reporting is against the interests of the country”.

He said that the government was trying to form a policy on the issue with consultation of all stakeholders so that action could be taken on irresponsible and defamatory news items. He said that the government had tried that the media should formulate a code of conduct for itself. He was of the opinion that there may be mala fide intention involved in the news item regarding de-notification of superior court judges restoration. Mansoor Suhail told the committee that the Pemra Chairman has been directed to get a report on this incident.

Earlier the committee advised the government not to waste money on the projection of its leadership. The committee was informed that advertisements worth Rs 10 billion are released to various newspapers every year and this does not include the advertisements released to electronic media.

The Secretary Information told the meeting that various public sector organisations were releasing their advertisements to electronic media directly, in violation of the government advertisement policy. The committee directed the Press Information Department to provide details of advertisements issued to various media houses during the last one year.

Principal Information Officer Haji Ahmed told the committee that judicious and transparent disbursement of government advertisements to newspapers on equitable basis, and protection and promotion of the interests of regional press were the hallmarks of the advertisement policy.

He said that during financial years 2008-09 and 2009-10 advertisements worth Rs 4.2 billion were issued to the print media. Earlier APP MD Muhammad Riaz Khan told the committee that during past one year a total of 209 new appointments have been done in the corporation out of which 85 are the employees sacked in 1997, who have been reinstated under the government policy.
Source: Business Recorder