Why do journalism organizations in Gilgit-Baltistan need government advertisements?
If a journalist posts something even on social media, his newspaper’s advertisements are stopped and pressure is put to remove the said journalist from the newspaper. The private sector in Gilgit-Baltistan is not stable enough for newspapers to run their business through their advertisements.
In a recent meeting of GB Newspaper Society, a local body of newspapers published in Gilgit-Baltistan, concerns were expressed that the government is trying to suppress freedom of expression in Gilgit-Baltistan through advertisements and unfair distribution of advertisements to some newspapers. are subjected to retaliation. This situation is faced not only with newspapers published from Gilgit-Baltistan but also with local bureaus of national newspapers. Khalid Hussain, who is associated with a national journalism organization, says that I had pointed out the health problems on my TV channel which targeted my newspaper and stopped advertising in my newspaper for three months. were given
GB Newspaper Society president Aamir John Sarwar says using advertising as a weapon is normal. Advertisements are stopped when the government wants news against it not to appear in the newspaper. Especially during the previous regimes, Andheri Nagri ruled here. In the first few days of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, these traditions of the past were not repeated, due to which we were satisfied in this regard, but now the situation has become that if a journalist posts on social media, his newspaper Advertisements are withheld and pressure is put on to fire the said journalist from the paper. The private sector in Gilgit-Baltistan is not stable enough for newspapers to run their business through their advertisements and there is no policy that those who are earning from here are obliged to advertise in local newspapers.
Iman Shah has been the editor of the local newspaper Daily Ausaf for 03 years. He says that if newspapers are not worried about livelihood, investigative news will be printed in newspapers here. Now when the economy is concerned, with every news, the management is faced with the risk that what will be the loss of this news and for how many months the advertisements of the newspaper will be closed. That’s why only 30% of anti-government content is published and 70% goes to the trash. Now paper and printing have become so expensive that it is a challenge to continue publishing newspapers. In other parts of the country the corporate sector is quite active and multinational companies are operating but not in GB. Government advertisements are the oxygen for newspapers in Gilgit-Baltistan and this dependence has an impact on freedom of expression.
According to the official records of the Information Department of Gilgit-Baltistan, a total of 1026 advertisements were issued in the year 2022. These advertisements were published in minimum two newspapers and maximum 5 to 6 newspapers. Thus, the total number of advertisements published by the Information Department of Gilgit is around 3 thousand. More than 300 advertisements have been released this year. These advertisements include tender notices, job openings, showcase notices, development and non-development as well as supplements.
Shamsur Rehman, Deputy Director of Information Department, Gilgit-Baltistan, said that it is a big tragedy in Gilgit-Baltistan that newspapers only depend on government advertisements. The government always wants to promote itself through advertisements, so in such a situation it is inevitable that the government will give priority to those newspapers which publicize the government’s initiatives which will smooth the public opinion. In such a situation, it is not possible to criticize and take advertisements. Gilgit-Baltistan government has been following the policy of being lenient with newspapers since day one because we also understand that there are people’s problems and there is no other source of income, but it is inappropriate to assert our right over advertisements. The situation in Gilgit is that journalists are less and newspapers are more. There are about 30 newspapers, none of which has its own business model.
Noam Chomsky’s propaganda model also sees government advertising as a tool through which the government manipulates public opinion in its favor. He said that we have never adopted a policy of blocking advertisements based on news and have not used this tool in such a way that a clear example is that opposition parties in Gilgit-Baltistan have never suspected that their No coverage.
President Press Club Gilgit Khurshid Ahmed believes that advertisements have nothing to do with expressing opinions because journalists do not get advertisements. However, there is definitely pressure on the newspaper owners that if the news is against the government, then they will not get the advertisement. In principle, a combination of the two
Source: Naya Daur