Media Safety, News leaks, PEMRA related issues dominated the week. There were 57 news items out of 134 regarding Freedom of Expression; while 56 news items of Media Policy and Regulation in both monitored newspapers and television channels.
Bill for the safety of journalists
State Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Marriyum Aurangzeb while talking with journalists at a dinner said that bill on the safety and protection of journalists will be ready by November 20. She further added that work on the right to information bill has almost been completed and it will soon be presented before the Parliament for approval. Dunya News and Jaag aired tickers on November 10 while Business Recorder on November 11 reported the event.
Killers of a journalist at large after three week
Khanpur Police of Shikarpur district could not apprehend the killers of a local journalist Liaquat Jan Brohi, who was killed under the allegation of having illicit relations with a woman. Though Police registered the case but is not ready to arrest the culprits. Daily Pakistan, reported on November 10 that the accused were issuing threats to family for perusing the case. Family of journalist demanded justice, protection and the arrest of killers.
CTD arrested two IS men for attacking TV channel’s office
The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) Sargodha said that they have arrested two members of a militant Islamic State group involved in attacking the bureau office of Express News channel on Dec 7, 2015 in Sargodha. A security guard was wounded in the incident while the building of channel was also damaged.
A case was registered against the suspects Zeeshan Mehboob and Zahid-ur-Rehman at the CTD Police Station and both were shifted to an undisclosed place for interrogation, reported News One channel on November 11 and Dawn newspaper on November 12.
Two cameramen of channel robbed
On November 9, Business Recorder reported that unidentified men robbed two cameramen Noman Ahmad Nizami and Tauseef Ahmad of a TV channel when they were going back to their homes from Karachi Press Club. The incident occurred on November 8 near Capri Cinema on M.A. Jinnah road and case was registered at Brigade police station. Paper did not mention the name of TV channel.
CPNE concerned over media safety
Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) is concerned over the attacks on media houses and increasing assaults on freedom of expression. In a meeting chaired by Amir Mehmood, chairman of CPNE Sindh Committee, the body demanded for measures to stop the series of violence. The meeting also appreciated the stance of Press Council of Pakistan regarding right of journalists to protect his sources. On November 12 The Express Tribune, daily Nawa-i-Waqt, daily Intekhab, Regional Times reported the event.
Dawn on November 12 also published an editorial with the title “Protection of sources” which appreciated the decision of PCP regarding right of journalist and concerned newspaper to protect its source.
News leak saga continues
While addressing a press conference after inauguration of “NADRA Online Complaint Management System” at the NADRA Headquarters, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has said that the controversial story published in Dawn newspaper was not a security breach but it was a fabricated report. The press conference was covered by different newspapers and TV channels including 92 News and ARY News that aired ticker, headline and breaking news on November 11 and 12 while Pakistan Today, The News, The Nation The Express Tribune, daily Express, daily Dunya on November 12 covered the press conference.
On November 13 Dawn and daily Jang reported that the spokesman for the interior minister said that during the press conference the minister did not criticized Dawn for the news story it was the committee investigating the matter that had asked him during his briefing to the committee, to request the editor and the staffer of organization to appear before it for recording their statements.
First meeting of investigating committee was held under the supervision of Justice Aamer Raza Khan on November 10 which discussed the actual source of story and also taken few important decisions, daily Express, daily Intekhab, daily Dunya reported the story.
Earlier on November 8 Different newspapers including Business Recorder, Regional Times, The Nation, The Express Tribune, Dawn, Pakistan Today, daily Express, daily Jang, daily Dunya reported that government constituted a seven-member inquiry committee to discover the person who leaked the information to Dawn newspaper about a security meeting.
While daily Express on November 7 reported the story and Jaag on November 8 aired breaking news that opposition parties including Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI), Pakistan Muslim League (Q) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) rejected the committee headed by retired judge and to probe Dawn story issue.
The Press Council of Pakistan (PCP) said that the government committee formed to investigate the news gate was not directed to interrogate the journalist or the staff of the concerned newspaper.
PCP stated the council “unanimously resolved that the probe committee… should not proceed against the newspaper or its staff… [or] insist upon divulgence of its source of information in the conduct of [the] probe”. The Nation, Balochistan Express, The News, Dawn, daily Jang on November 11 reported the story while Neo News in its program At Q also discussed the stance on PCP on November 12.
Cable Operators ask PEMRA to postpone launching of DTH
The Cable Operators Association of Pakistan (COAP) organized press conferences in different cities including Peshawar, Karachi, Lahore and made appeal to Chairman Pakistan Electronic Media Regularity Authority (PEMRA) Absar Alam to cancel the auction of Direct-to-Home (DTH) services and postpone its launching for the next three years.
They demanded strict action against those who were providing illegal services and operating Indian TV and C-Line. They further stressed on the concerned authorities to remove Indian TV channels from all kind of sources. On November 12 and 13 different news channels including 92 News, Aaj News, ARY News, Capital TV, Dawn News, Dunya News, Geo News, Jaag News, Neo News and News One covered the press conference and aired tickers, detail news, headline and live coverage’s while on November 13, The Nation and daily Jang reported the press conference.
Bidding process for FM Radio licensing
The bidding process for FM Radio licensing was held on November 7-8 at the PEMRA Headquarters Islamabad. Total of 53 companies participated in the bidding for 77 FM Radio licences among which 67 cities were awarded FM Radio licences.
The highest bid amounting to Pakistan Rupees 25.5 million was offered for Sialkot, 20.5 million rupees for the FM Radio license of Jaranwala, rupees 19.1 million for D.G. Khan, rupees 17.55 million for Chiniot, 10.6 million rupees for Charsadda and Rs 10.1 million for Kharian. The Nation, The News and daily Jang on November 9 reported the event.
Throughout the week there were total six news items of PEMRA bidding process for FM Radio licensing.
PEMRA crackdown continued
PEMRA team of Sukkur headed by Muhammad Afzal Jatoi, Tariq Lakho and Custom Intelligence team’s officer Nadeem Asraan raided different electronic markets in Larkana and seized more than 320 DTH receivers while 85 dish antennas and one laptop. The news was reported by Geo News on November 8 and daily Intekhab on November 9.
Web Radio to be launched for countering Indian propaganda
The Federal Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Saba Mohsin said that for countering Indian propaganda the government has decided to establish web radio in Balochistan and the preparations to launch the web radio were at final stage. She further added that they were working on innovative ideas for reviving Radio Pakistan by involving federal and provincial ministers on daily basis in order to improve the current affairs programmes at radio. Business Recorder on November 8 reported the story.
Journalism not necessary?
Daily Express published an article written by Wusatullah Khan with the title “Sahafat karna zarori tu nahi” in which writer discussed the trend of Selfie Journalist. “Selfie journalist”, the writer is pointing out those journalists who are only thinking about themselves and don’t care about public thinking of him, his looks etcetera. They consider that voice is more important than facts.
Dawn on November 12 published an editorial with the title “Protection of sources” which appreciated the decision of PCP regarding right of journalist and concerned newspaper to protect its source. Editorial basically was focusing on news leak.
Media should avoid assumptions about high-profile cases: IGP
Pakistan Today, daily Nawa-i-Waqt, daily Express, daily Dunya on November 13 reported, Sindh Inspector General of Police (IGP) Allah Dino Khowaja in his statement asked media persons to avoid making speculations regarding criminals, terrorists and high-profile cases, as criminals could take benefit from it. He further added “We have always shared the information with media about operations against criminals and strategy, because police know that only media could better guide the people”.
Facebook launches online training for journalists
Balochistan Express on November 10 reported that Facebook has launched its online training for journalists, highlighting three core pillars of the news cycle: discovering content, creating stories and building an audience. Course includes “How journalists can best utilize Facebook and Instagram.”
Prominent poet, writer, journalist and senior member of daily Dunya’s editorial section Aslam Kolsari passed away, reported daily Dunya on November 8.
PPF monitored 65 stories out of which there were 26 news tickers, four headlines, three breaking news, 16 press conferences, 11 detail news and five 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.
There were total 69 new stories out of which there were 32 events coverage, 21 press releases, six interviews, five press briefings, three press conferences and two opinion piece 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.
According to PPF monitoring there were six news items related to media ethics, six on media safety, four from media bodies, three media development, one from media obituary and one general news.
PPF monitored 134 news items in both newspapers and TV channels during the week. Majority of the news makers were 113 males, 10 females; while in 11 news items gender of spokesperson was not mentioned.