Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) monitored different newspapers and television channels from July 25 to 31 and covered the following media related news: Geo News moved to last numbers on July 28 and made inaccessible in many areas; PEMRA seeks government help; Channels violating code of conduct; PTI workers misbehave with media men; Committee directs PEMRA to implement SC decision; Repetition in news; and UNESCO and PPF join hands to promote safety of journalists.
Geo News moved to last numbers and made inaccessible in many areas The News and Jang on July 29 reported while Geo News aired a detailed news that Geo News was moved to last numbers on July 28 and made inaccessible in many areas.
A Geo News spokesman stated: “If curbs imposed on media freedom are not lifted by the evening today, the group will not only move the court with full force but will also strongly raise the issue on the streets, and sensitize local and international forums.” The spokesman demanded of the prime minister and the chief justice to form an independent commission to investigate all matters pertaining to Geo News, including the false allegations and ban on it.
The News, Jang and Amn on July 30 reported that Minister of Information and Broadcasting Pervaiz Rashid has taken a notice of placing Geo News on last number on cable networks in Karachi.
The News and Jang also published news reports which covered the reactions of lawyers, civil society and journalists over the disruption of Geo News position on cable networks. Islamabad High Court Bar President Tariq Mehmood Jehangiri said: “It is the economic murder of the media workers, and journalists across Pakistan would protest against it.”
Geo News aired a detailed news on July 30 while Jang and The News published follow up reports in this regard. Furthermore, Geo News also aired detailed news on July 31 that journalists and media workers from electronic and print media staged rallies across the country against shifting of Geo News channel to last numbers in Karachi.
The News and Jang reported while Geo News aired detailed news on July 31 that restoration of Geo News to its original numbers have started with the help of PEMRA teams , as six cable operators have restored Geo News to its previous numbers.
PEMRA seeks government help
Pakistan Electronic Media Regularity Authority (PEMRA) Chairman Absar Alam has sought help from the federal government to take action against PEMRA law violators in Karachi under Section 33-A of PEMRA Ordinance 2002.
The Nation, The News, Pakistan Today, Jang, and Amn on July 30 published this news. ARY News, Geo News, and NEO News on July 29 and Geo News again on July 30 aired detailed news that the PEMRA chairman wrote a letter to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to direct law enforcement agencies and provincial government to help PEMRA in an action taken against those cable operators that have resorted to illegal interruption of a private television channel. The PEMRA also ordered 11 cable operators to immediately restore Geo News at the position it was being relayed on July 28, 2016.
These cable operators have also been directed to show cause, as to why they violated provisions of the License Terms & Conditions and Distribution Service Regulation 2011.
Channels violating code of conduct
PEMRA Chairman Absar Alam delivered a public lecture on “Role of electronic media for the development of economy and agriculture sector in Pakistan” at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) on July 26.
Talking about the violation of code of conduct by private television channels, Alam said: “Some owners have given anchors free hand, if Karachi’s true picture had been presented, MQM would have been finished and PML-N could have been defeated in elections, Qandeel Baloch was murdered because of race for rating among some channels.”
While talking about the importance of agriculture content on media, he urged the business class of Faisalabad to fund an agriculture based television channel at the UAF for the country’s farming community.
During the event, PEMRA Chairman signs campaign of ARY News to declare 8th July as Charity Day for Abdul Sattar Edhi.
The News and Jang on July 27 published news reports with complete facts covering all the statements and information regarding the seminar, whereas different channels, including SAMAA, ARY, AAJ News, 92 News and NEO News, also aired headline, tickers, breaking news and detailed news of the event on July 26 and July 27.
The News and Jang on July 28 published reports covering the discussion of PEMRA chairman with The News on July 27 in which he said : “Improvement will take place in the society if electronic media follows code of conduct. The journalists, who are associated with print media, have raised their stature with the struggle of decades and sacrifices.”
PTI workers misbehave with media men
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers misbehaved with media workers during an internal conflict in Islamabad rally.
After the incident, PTI Chairman Imran Khan apologized for the torture on media persons by PTI activists and said that strict action would be taken against those who subjected media men to violence. Federal information minister also condemned torture on media persons.
Different news channels, including 92 News, ABB TAKK, AAJ News, Capital TV, Dawn, Dunya News, Express News, Geo News, JAAG, NEO News, and SAMAA covered the story and aired headlines, tickers, breaking news, press briefings, and detailed news.
Committee directs PEMRA to implement SC decision
The Committee of National Assembly on Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage chaired by PPP MNA Imran Zafar has directed the PEMRA to ensure implementation of Supreme Court’s decision on Code of Conduct (CoC) for electronic media.
The Nation, Dawn, and Jang on July 28 published a news report that the committee asked PEMRA to ensure compliance with its code of conduct for television channels and also look into its administrative, financial and legal affairs.
Repetition in news
Ayesha Hasan in her article “Disconcerting repetition in news” published in The Express Tribune on July 25 examined the lack of female sources and repetition of sources in Pakistani news media. She said that journalists repeatedly quote typical sources and this repetition is becoming perceptible that it is disconcerting.
The writer advised: “Journalists need to expand their circle of sources and stop relying on ‘whoever is available’, deliberately projecting certain names, unremittingly quoting acquaintances and playing it easy.”
UNESCO and PPF join hands to promote safety of journalists
UNESCO through its International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) is contributing to safety of journalists in collaboration with Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF).
The Nation on July 28 and Pakistan Today on July 30 reported that the training project “Promoting Safety of Journalists through Security Training” targets 110 journalists and media professionals working in conflict and post-conflict areas in Pakistan.
The aim of the three-day training is to spread awareness among journalists working in conflict and post-conflict areas regarding their personal security and dealing with threats. The training also includes post-traumatic and stress management courses. So far 56 journalists took part in this training in Sanghar and Shikarpur districts of Sindh province and in Batkhila and Mingora towns in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Other media related news
Other media related news during the week included torture on NEO News team by WAPDA perso. Campaign starts against judiciary on social or electronic media; target killer Sarfaraz confessed to killing three journalists of a private television channel in firing incident near board office; media team stopped from coverage at Jinnah hospital after the incident near Saddar parking plaza; police arrested two persons for opening gunfire on a TV anchor Shahzad Ihsan, who were later released on bail after an out of court settlement with the complainant; former MNA and Ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan Asadullah Bhutto, Ameer Sindh Dr. Meraj Ul Huda Siddiqui, Secretary Information Sindh Mujahid Chana congratulated the president and other elected members of Khairpur Press Club elections; CPNE Executive Committee members held a meeting with Secretary Information Imran Gardezi to discuss issues related to print media; PFUJ announced the election schedule and formation of five member election committee for holding the PFUJ elections; PFUJ President Rana Muhammad Azeem and Acting Secretary-General Ali Kazim called news stories regarding the announcement of PFUJ elections baseless; Journalist and anchor Mubashir Mir awarded media management professional certification award.
Journalists covering proceedings of Parliament staged a walkout from the press gallery in protest against controversial clauses in Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill, 2016; National University of Modern Languages (NUML), Peshawar organized a seminar on July 28 that highlighted the need to develop strong connections between academia and media industry; NGO Individual Land organized a two-day training workshop for the security of journalists; Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) in collaboration with IMS organized a two-day training workshop for the security of journalists.
The media also covered stories of the passing away of Hyderabad Regional Daily’s former editor Syed Akbar Ali Shah and death of Journalist and Vice President of Bundar Press Club Abdul Ghafoor Memon and his two daughters in a traffic collision. Some newspapers, including Nawa-i-Waqt, The Nation and Business Recorder, gave vast coverage to the second death anniversary of editor daily Nawa-i-Waqt and renowned journalist, Majid Nizami on July 26.
During the week, PPF monitored 53 news, tickers, headlines and programs related to Pakistani media that were covered in the following television channels – 92 News, Aaj News, AbbTakk, ARY News, Capital TV, Dawn News, Dunya News, Express News, Geo News, Jaag News, Khyber News, KTN, Neo News, NewsOne, Samaa and TV One.
There were 81 news stories, editorials, articles and photographs published in 16 daily English and Urdu languages newspapers that include Dawn, The News, The Nation, Express Tribune, Business Recorder, Pakistan Today, Regional Times, Jang, Dunya, Roznama Express, Nawa-e-Waqt, Pakistan, Intikhab, QuamiAkhbar, Amn, and Roznama Pakistan.