PPF Weekly Media Content Monitoring Report of December 12-18

PPF Weekly Media Content Monitoring Report of December 12-18

Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) monitored 64 news items in both newspapers and TV channels during the week. Majority of the news makers were 50 males, two females; while in 12 news items gender of spokesperson was not mentioned.

According to PPF monitoring 15 news items were related to freedom of expression, media safety news items were 13, 11 from media regulation, media ethics news items were nine, eight from media development and eight news items were general.

The element of fairness was found in 56% news items; however 44% news stories lack fairness. While element of accuracy remained 44% and 56% news stories did not meet the criteria of accuracy.

According to monitoring 49% news carried different view points while 51% stories did not accommodate the various view points.

Taliban threaten journalists in South Waziristan

Pakistani Taliban has circulated threatening pamphlets to media persons in parts of South Waziristan tribal region. The distribution of pamphlets highlights the dangers to the lives of the tribal journalists and the freedom of expression in South Waziristan.

At least four journalists have been killed only in South Waziristan while two in North Waziristan over the past several years.  Many journalists have been forced to move to other cities, reported The News on December 12.

Neither any channel nor other monitored newspapers covered the pamphlets, which reflect to sensitivity, negligence or self censorship on the part of reporters and media houses.

Victimization of 92 News Channel

Journalists across the country protested against victimization of 92 News channel by Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah. Mian Manzoor Watto also condemned the act of Punjab government against channel, reported by 92 News on December 17 and 18.

The report of protest was only aired by 92 news. Neither monitored TV channels nor newspapers covered the report.

News gate inquiry report delayed for a month

Interior Ministry extended the time period of news gate inquiry committee for one month. Seven member inquiry committee led by Justice Aamir Raza will now submit the inquiry report to interior ministry on 6 January 2017. Daily Nawa-i-Waqt and daily Express reported the story on December 18.

Earlier on December 15 Dawn, The Express Tribune, daily Express, daily Dunya reported that the Lahore High Court ordered the federal government law officer to submit the inquiry report on news leaks to the committee headed by retired justice Aamir Raza Khan by December 19.

Cabinet Secretary warned leaking info to media

92 News aired breaking news on December 13 while Dawn on December 17 reported that, Cabinet Secretary has warned the concerned officials against leaking confidential information particularly pertaining to the federal cabinet decisions to media or unauthorized persons. There will be investigations and action will be taken if responsible persons are identified.

A letter written by Cabinet Secretary Nadeem Hassan Asif observed that instances of leakage of classified information including proceedings of high-level meetings are on the increase.

Protest against threats to journalist

The journalists of Daur Press Club staged a protest demonstration outside the local press club. The protest was against issuance of threats to their colleague, Akash Zaor by potent persons. Regional Times reported the story on December 14.

PEMRA fined Channel 24

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) imposed a fine of Rupees 1 million on Channel 24 for airing bogus and malicious comments about the family of Anwar Aziz in its programme “Khara Such” on May 25, 2016. Daily Express on December 16 and Balochistan Express on December 17 reported the story.

The story was not aired by monitored channels including the affected one and out of 15 only two newspapers published the story.

PEMRA to consider demands of cable operators

Abb Takk, Dunya News and Samaa aired tickers on December 13 while The News and daily Jang on December 14 reported the story that Chairman PEMRA Absar Alam has guaranteed the Cable Operators Association of Pakistan to consider all demands of the cable operators.

Coverage on siege of Ahmadi worship place

The mass attack on a worship place of the Ahmadi community in Chakwal was downplayed by the electronic media due to a self-restraint as well as fear of strict monitoring by the regulator. Electronic media covered the incident only through display of tickers.

A senior official of PEMRA said, one or two channels played strong tickers but they were called immediately and the focus remained on the Eid Milad processions and activities, reported Dawn on December 14.

Media House Attack Case

The Anti-Terrorism Court accepted the bail application of Muttahid Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Kunwar Naveed Jameel in the media house attack case of August 22. The case hearing held on December 15 where police presented 50 accused including MQM leaders Shahid Pasha, Qamar Mansoor and Advocate Gulfaraz Khattak, reported Abb Takk, ARY News and Express News on December 15 and 17 while daily Pakistan, daily Intekhab and daily Amn on December 16 and daily Dunya on December 18.

Book on Afghan prison days by Karachi-based journalist

Faizullah Khan, a Karachi-based journalist was inspired by Yvonne Ridley, a British female journalist who came to prominence in September 2001 when she was detained by the Taliban in Afghanistan. Khan also considered risking his life for the sake of his journalistic duties and visited the Pak-Afghan bordering area in April 2014 to interview some leaders of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan.

But unfortunately Afghanistan’s law-enforcement agencies arrested him in the Nangarhar province and then an Afghan court sentenced him for four years in prison for travelling to Afghanistan without a visa. However, with the efforts of Pakistani authorities he was freed. After overcoming many challenges his Urdu book “Durand Line Ka Qaidi (Prisoner of Durand Line) published last week, reported daily the News on December 18.


Coverage of Chakwal incident

Dawn on December 15 published an editorial entitled “Chakwal Coverage” which discussed the self-restraint of electronic media while covering the sensitive incident that took place December 12 during a communal riot in Dulmial, a village near Chakwal city. As reported, a mob descended on an Ahmadi place of worship and continued to ransack it. According to the newspaper the coverage was only limited to tickers and media professionals said this was done because of self restraint.

It further said the media needs to expose the culprits behind such communal violence in order to inform the public, as well as to put pressure on the state to take action against hate-mongers.

Pakistani media on alert

Pakistan Today on December 18 reproduced an article which was originally published in The Guardian with the title “Pakistani media on alert after TV channel’s libel defeat in British court” written by Jon Boone. A libel victory in a British court has created a major challenge to the style of Pakistani television channels that focus in attacks on public figures, often at the order of the country’s intelligence agencies.

Earlier this month, Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, owner of the Jang-Geo group, won a major victory against ARY. The court found ARY guilty of making 24 separate defamatory claims against Rehman and ordered the channel to pay damages of £185,000.

Ofcom, the British media regulator, is also emerging as a forum for Pakistanis to complain about how they are treated by their own media

Demands of media

Daily Express on December 14 published an article with the title “Media ki demand or iblaagh aama ka nisaab” written by Dr. Naveed Iqbal Ansari. The writer in this piece of writing mentioned different courses of mass communication and its importance in the field of media. Nowadays media organizations are in the hands of businessmen so their demands are also related to business. They only want rating and mostly organizations distribute their advertisements in the form of news. The writer said the demands of media are only advertisements, rating and more profit.

Quality journalism is essential for democracy

The Express Tribune on December 12 published an article entitled “Quality journalism is essential for democracy” written by Lawrence Pintak (board of advisors at the Centre for Excellence in Journalism at IBA). Mr Pintak in this piece of writing said, media has the power to form opinion, to dethrone governments and to save lives. A recent study of Pintak conducted in Pakistan found that two-thirds of Pakistani policymaker’s survey said before making a decision they take media reaction into account.

The writer said we need journalists who are dedicated to the truth and who do not sensationalize or twist their reporting for political motives or profit. On the other hand public should also know the difference between. Politically motivated websites, or the blogs of a 12-year-old and those of credible news organizations, and who understand that everything we read online is not true.

Responsibilities of media

Daily Express on December 12 published an article written by Zaheer Akhtar with the title “Media ki zimedariyan” (Responsibilities of media). The writer said that the media of the world has converted into a business. The responsibility of media is to present facts to its audience but nowadays media not only present facts but also present the views to the government. The electronic media has become so powerful that not only our leaders but opposition is also afraid of media.

Training workshop for journalists

Balochistan Express reported the event on December 17, chairperson of Mass Communication Department of Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences (BUITEMS) Sumera Zakir said, “It is the responsibility of journalists alongside of government to make investigative reporting for raise in literacy rate, new colleges and universities for girls and developing awareness among citizens about ghost teachers and educational institutions away from routine reporting.

She expressed these views at the closing ceremony of three day Media Training workshop held at BUITEMS on December 16.

PPF monitored 29 items out of which there were six detailed news, 14 tickers, five breaking news, two programs and two headlines related to Pakistani media that were covered in the following television channels: 92 News, Aaj News, Abb Takk, ARY News, Capital TV, Dawn News, Dunya News, Express News, Geo News, Jaag News, Neo News, News One, Samaa and TV One.

Out of 35 news items there were 27 events coverage, three press releases and five opinions published in English and Urdu dailies including Dawn, The News, The Nation, The Express Tribune, Business Recorder, Pakistan Today, Regional Times, Balochistan Express, daily Jang, daily Dunya, daily Express, daily Nawa-i-Waqt, daily Intikhab, daily Amn, daily Pakistan.