Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) monitored 78 news items in both newspapers and TV channels during the week. Sixty five of the news makers were males, nine females; while in four news items gender of spokesperson was not mentioned.
Twenty two news items were related to media development; 21 related to freedom of expression and safety of media; 12 were obituaries; nine news items were onmedia ethics; nine wee about media bodies; while 5 news items covered miscellaneous topics.
Safety and security of journalists
Regional Times, Business Recorder, The Express Tribune, daily Nawa-i-Waqt on December 24 reported that, a delegation of Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) led by Secretary-General Aijaz-ul Haq met with Karachi Corps Commander Lieutenant-General Naveed Mukhtar and discussed the internal situation of Karachi, besides safety and security of journalists.
Lt-Gen Mukhtar assured full support to address the problems and security challenges being faced by journalists.
In other event reported by The Express Tribune, daily Express on December 21 and Balochistan Express on December 25, Punjab Minister for Information and Culture Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman said that in an effort to tackle problems faced by the media, the government will consult journalists. He said he will assist CPNE in its efforts to resolve the problems faced by journalists. He expressed these views at a dinner he hosted CPNE.
Suspension and Notices to TV channels
Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) suspended transmission of Channel 24 from 5:00pm to 12:00 midnight daily for a period of seven days starting from December 27, 2016 to January 2, 2017 and also imposed a fine of Pakistan rupees 1 million on it. The decision was taken in the 122nd meeting of PEMRA for airing a false and unverified audio clip of the Pakistan International Airline plane crash near Havelian/ Abbottabad on December 7, 2016.
The authority also issued a show cause notice to Labbaik (Pvt) Ltd (licensee for BOL News and BOL Entertainment) for not getting security clearance. PEMRA said in the notice that security clearance/credibility and track record of the directors of the company was mandatory under rules.
The PEMRA meeting also discussed non-payment of the outstanding dues (Rs1 million) by Punjab TV for last two years and decided to suspend its licence. ARY News, Neo TV aired tickers on December 23 while The Nation, The News, daily Jang on December 24 reported the story.
The Nation did not mention the name of Channel 24.
Broadcast of 12 TV channels blocked
The General Manager and acting Managing Director of PAKSAT Asim has blocked broadcast of 12 private TV channels for the last 30 hours who has failed to pay nominal dues. This step was taken just to satisfy the government, reported Balochistan Express and daily Amn on December 21.
Online news agency report was published in only two newspapers out of monitored 15; while no channel covered it. The names of blocked channels were not mentioned as well.
ARY ordered to air summary of judgment in defamation case
The United Kingdom Court ordered ARY News to broadcast the summary of a legal judgment against it. At a legal hearing in London on December 21, Judge Sir David Eady ruled that the summary should be broadcast on Dec 23 at 6pm, 10pm and 3am in the first five minutes of each hour. The words will have to be displayed on the screen as well as being read out.
The ARY will have to say in Urdu: “On Dec 2, 2016, the High Court of Justice ordered the UK broadcaster of ARY News to pay £185,000 in libel damages to Mir Shakil ur Rehman, the Editor-in-Chief of Jang/Geo Group, in relation to seriously defamatory allegations broadcast in 24 programmes which the judge said simply had no foundation.
The channel must also broadcast that there was no evidence to support the claims and that during the trial, ARY Network made it clear they did not suggest that any of the allegations were true.
The latest ruling against ARY came after it was told earlier this month to pay £185,000 for libeling Geo’s Chief Executive Rehman. The money has to be paid by 4.30pm on Jan 4 next year.
Lawyers for Rehman identified ARY programmes in which he had been libeled between 2013 and 2014. The broadcasts included repeated claims that he was a traitor to Pakistan who had conspired with Indian intelligence agencies and the CIA to publish fabricated stories maligning Pakistan’s armed forces. Dawn on December 22 while Pakistan Today on December 23 and Dawn on December 24 reported the story.
The story was not telecast any monitored channel including Geo group and ARY. Only two out 15 newspapers published the news.
Advertising Roundtable of APNS
The All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) held an advertising roundtable on December 22 at APNS House, Karachi to discuss the issues of country’s print media. The top media practitioners discussed the projection and challenges that media industry is undergoing in wake of the changes in the media matrix. The speakers highlighted the need for print media to hold modern technologies in media planning.
They showed concern in the lack of readership data in the newspaper industry and pointed out that there was a dire need to conduct a National Readership Survey if the newspapers wanted to remain in the race for advertising, reported The Nation, The Express Tribune, The News, daily Intekhab on December 24 and daily Amn on December 25.
Journalism workshops and events
PPF in collaboration with Open Society Institute (OSI) organized a National Consultative Dialogue on the Safety of Journalists on December 23. The participants were of the view that the rush for breaking news combined with the unprofessional attitude of editors, newsroom personnel and media houses leave journalists working in the field vulnerable and at risk.
Leading journalists who also serve their local press club from Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Quetta, Peshawar, Muzaffarabad, Gilgit-Baltistan, Abbottabad, Khuzdar, Federally Administered Tribal Areas and other cities participated in the dialogue.
Participants also narrated stories of attacks on their respective press clubs, and the threats faced by their members. The discussion also decided how to identify those journalists killed or injured while performing their professional duties and those killed for other reasons. Business Recorder, The Nation and Regional Times and Balochistan Express on December 24 reported the event.
Regional Times on December 19, daily Express on December 20, daily Jang and daily Pakistan on December 21 while daily Dunya on December 22 reported the event, Liaquat National Hospital’s state of the art Research and Skill Development Centre in collaboration with Karachi Union of Journalists organized a workshop for journalists to train them in basic emergency and trauma management.
Speaking at the workshop, the director of the Research and Skill Development Centre, Dr Kehkashan Tahir said, “This training would help journalists would help journalists effectively deal with any accidents and other medical emergencies during discharge of their professional responsibilities.”
The Centre for Excellence in Journalism at the Institute of Business Administration, Karachi and Centre for Communication Programs Pakistan organized the first ever “Excellence in Journalism Awards 2016”. Thirteen journalists received excellence awards in health reporting, for news stories published between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016.
The winners in the three categories are as follows: Mainstream broadcast (TV, Radio) – winners are Ovais Ahmed Tanveer and Danyal Hasan. Mainstream Print/Online – winners are Zofeen T Ebrahim and Muhammad Suleman. District Correspondents (Print, Online, TV, Radio) winners are Adnan Khatri and Mohammad Shahid. Dawn News channel aired breaking news while The Express Tribune, Business Recorder on December 20, Regional Times on December 21, The News, Balochistan Express on December 22 and Pakistan Today on December 23 reported the event.
The mutating news-scape
The Express Tribune on December 22 published an article with the title “The mutating news-scape” written by Chris Cork. The writer said, “An entire generation has stopped buying and reading newspapers. The social media is where they get their news. They are watching less TV news as well, and Facebook is the most powerful force to be seen in global news.”
Advertising, the lifeblood of most newspapers, is moving online and there is only so much to go around and if the markets are reading their smart devices and not their newspapers then that is where the advertisers are going to put their money and reap their profits.
Journalism: A daring profession
The News on December 23 published an article entitle “A daring profession” written by Ayaz Ahmed in which the writer described journalism as one of the riskiest professions and the multidimensional problems that journalists in Pakistan face in the line of duty.
The writer also quoted facts from the Committee to Protect Journalists report, according to which at least 48 journalists have been killed on account of their work and another 26 killed while reporting between January 01 and December 15, 2016.
ARY News in its programme ‘News Wise’ also quoted the facts from the report of CPJ and PPF.
In the memory of Anwar Qadwai
Daily Pakistan on December 25 published an article entitled “Anwar Qadwai bhi rukhsat: batei or yaadei” written by Chaudhry Khadim Hussain in which the writer praised the services of late journalist in the field of journalism.
Media Obituaries/ Death anniversary
Syed Muhammad Anwar Qadwai
Senior journalist of daily Jang Syed Anwar Qadwai was laid to rest in a local cemetery. Renowned persons from different sectors attended the funeral prayers or journalist, reported daily Jang on December 25.
Qadwai died of heart attack on December 24. He started his journalistic career with daily Nawa-i-Waqt and worked as reporter and columnist. Later joined the daily Jang in 1996 and remained associated with the organization till his death. He also won first APNS award. Neo TV and Abb Takk aired tickers on December 23 and 24 while The News, daily Nawa-i-Waqt, daily Express, daily Dunya, daily Jang, daily Pakistan on December 24 reported the story
Muhammad Khan Nakshbandi
Daily Nawa-i-Waqt on December 21 reported that renowned journalist and gold medalist activist of Pakistan Movement, Muhammad Khan Nakshbandi passed away at the age of 97.
Death anniversary of journalist Aftab Shaikh was observed in Jhuddo (Mirpur Khas district) reported daily Intekhab on December 23.
Ishaq Rahi Adabi Forum held a condolence reference over the demise of journalist Parwano Bhatti on December 20. A large number of intellectuals, poets, writers and journalists attended the session. Regional Times reported the story on December 21.
PPF monitored 20 items out of which there were 10 tickers, four breaking news, two detailed news, two headlines and two programs 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 58 news items there were 29 events coverage, 26 press releases and three 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.