TV channel issued notice for airing plane crash ‘audio’
Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) on Thursday issued a show cause notice to Channel 24 for airing an ‘unverified’ audio tape of passengers of ill-fated PIA plane before the crash. A flight of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) on Wednesday last crashed in the mountains near Havelian, district Abbottabad.
According to Pemra notice, various viewers have lodged complaints through Twitter as well as with the complaint centre, terming the act of Channel 24 “inhuman” and “unprofessional”. Soon after the crash, an audio clip went viral on social media claiming to be the last audio before the plane crash and was broadcast by the channel. In the audio, the people could be heard crying for help; however, it was found to be an audio of another crash.
On receiving the complaints, the authority has asked the channel management to file a reply by December 15. The Pemra has the right to ban the channel, besides imposing a fine of Rs 1 million (under section 29 of the Pemra Ordinance) or suspend or cancel its licence in case it receives an unsatisfactory reply (under section 30 of the Pemra Ordinance) from the respondents.
According to the notice, “Channel 24’s coverage is against Pemra’s Electronic Code of Conduct 2015 under sections 3, 8 and 17. The channel is required to prove: the recording was from the passenger cabin of the ill-fated aircraft; how was the audio recorded; and how was it sent to the channel from the aircraft.” The audio was broadcast by Channel 24 at 9:47pm Wednesday, following which the PEMRA officially sent a notice to Channel 24 for broadcasting audio clip and the authority has directed the management of the channel to provide a satisfactory response; otherwise, it will take a unilateral action against the channel.