The All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) expresses concern over governments’ media policies
KARACHI: The All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) expressed its grave concern over the disastrous effects of the media policies of the Federal and provincial governments and urges upon the governments to consult the stakeholders for the reversal of these policies.
The APNS executive committee at its meeting held on March 08, chaired by its president, Hameed Haroon considered the state of print media in the country and noted that the new media policies have devastating effects on the member publications especially the smaller and regional publications, who were facing acute financial crunch.
They were of the considered view, if these policies were not reviewed in consultation with the APNS, many publications have to close down their operations resulting in a large scale retrenchment and unemployment of journalists and media workers.
The APNS executive committee noted that under the new policy, the PID and provincial information departments of the Punjab and KP have been empowered to select the media for the government advertising thus depriving the clients of their rights to choose the respective media for the dissemination of their message.
This has resulted in considerable decrease of the quantum of advertisements as the sponsoring departments have curtailed advertising because they believe that their advertising was being given to mostly unknown newspapers which results in wastage of their budgets.
The committee urged upon the federal government to restore the rights of the client departments to select their media and authorize the regional offices of PID to recommend newspapers in their respective regions.
The members of the executive committee complained that in the distribution of advertisements to genuine publications are being ignored. This is evident from the ad of Ministry of Information released on March 07 which was issued to 143 APNS members, 112 non-APNS mostly non-existing publications.
In another resolution, the APNS executive committee noted that with the new policy, the slow payment process of government advertisements has had a negative impact on the newspapers. This situation has resulted in acute liquidity crisis for member publications and needs to be addressed by the federal and provincial governments on priority basis.
The executive committee decided that as a first step, the APNS will suspend the sponsoring clients who have not made payments against their advertisements. In the 2nd stage APNS may consider suspending the entire government advertising.
The executive committee, in another resolution, noted that the DGPR, Punjab has curtailed the quantum of ads and stopped payments as a consequence of new policy, particularly the payment against SPL ads has completely stopped. The members urged upon the Punjab Government to restore the pre-policy mechanism of payment without further delay.
The executive committee adopted the Annual Report for last two years as well as audit report for the years 2019-2020 and decided to hold its General Council meeting on March 24, 2021 at APNS House, Karachi.
The APNS executive committee offered fateha on the sad demise of Imran Ahmed son of Mushtaq Ahmed Qureshi, Mr and Mrs Shahzad Akhund, brother-in-law of Kazi Asad Abid, Haji Muhammad Hasan Khan, elder brother of Sardar Khan Niazi, Syed Asif Ali, brother-in-law of S M Munir Jilani, Maj-Gen Hidayat ullah Khan Niazi, father-in-law of Sardar Khan Niazi and eldest sister of Mehtab Khan.