State-run media shuns Musharraf -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

State-run media shuns Musharraf

ISLAMABAD: The PPP-led government has put an unannounced and partial ban on President Pervez Musharraf’s coverage on PTV and Radio Pakistan, the state-run-media, The News has learnt.

“The partial ban started with the coverage of Pervez Musharraf’s last media conference, and he may face more restrictions in getting projection on the state-run television and Radio in the days and the weeks to come,” the sources said here on Monday.

Musharraf, these sources elaborated, got coverage just for a few seconds at the end of the main news bulletin of the PTV after a brawl between PTV current affairs authorities also involving Managing Director Yousaf Baig Mirza and the politically appointed team at the organisation.

“Neither was Musharraf’s press conference telecast live as in the past nor was he projected in the first two or three events though it was given special significance on private electronic channels,” the sources dealing with the current affairs department of the PTV said. As Musharraf’s media event concluded on Saturday afternoon, it was not allowed to be telecast in any of the news bulletins before prime time 9pm.

“Overall coverage of Musharraf has been reduced drastically and the focus has been on the political leaders’ coverage in the last almost ten days as the prime minister, ministers and other government functionaries are getting due coverage reflecting democratic era.”

Information Minister Sherry Rehman, the sources said, did not take interest in the brawl and exchange of harsh words between the MD PTV and the newly inducted two coordinators, Nazir Ahmed Dhoki and Captain Wasif.

“These persons, the chief coordinator and the coordinator, are preferring the political leadership to Musharraf or his persons still on key positions,” the source further said. When contacted, the PTV MD Yousaf Baig Mirza however said he was not in Islamabad on the day General Pervez Musharraf addressed a press conference and thus had no knowledge about the coverage of the same event. “I was out of Islamabad,” he responded to a question about a brawl on Musharraf’s coverage issue last Saturday.

To another question, he claimed that there was no change in the policy of the government on covering the events of the president and other high profile office-holders. “I do not think so, but I will not like to offer more comment on it,” the PTV MD said when asked about the considerably reduced coverage to Musharraf on state controlled media.

“There can be some sort of the changes (in coverage) as has been seen even on private channels,” Yousaf Baig Mirza said. On the role of the coordinators appointed by the PPP in PTV, the MD said definitely they have a significant role but nothing to do with the policy formulation. “They are good for the PTV and I think their induction will improve the quality of programmes.”
Source: The News