Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) monitored 93 news items in both newspapers and TV channels during the week. Fifty six of the news makers were males, 30 females; while in seven news items gender of spokesperson was not mentioned.
35 news items were related to media regulation; 17 related to media development; 13 were from media safety; nine news items of obituaries; eight news items were related to media ethics and eight from freedom of expression; while three news items covered miscellaneous topics.
The element of fairness was found in 38% news items; however 62% news stories lack fairness. While element of accuracy remained 34% and 66% news stories did not meet the criteria of accuracy.
While monitored 62% news items were found partial towards one side while 38% news stories were impartial. The element of balance was found in only 15% news items while 85% news items did not carried the element of balance.
According to monitoring 38% news carried different view points while 62% stories did not accommodate the various view points.
Attack on media personnel
Unknown assailants forcefully stopped Geo news DSNG and tortured driver Khalid Tanoli, satellite engineers Tabish and Shabbir.
The incident took place in E-11 sector of the federal capital Islamabad, where armed men riding in a maroon-colored Land Cruiser vehicle stopped the Geo DSNG, attacked the crew and also damaged the van; Geo News on December 26 aired breaking news while daily Jang on December 27 reported the story.
On December 28 daily Jang reported that police arrested two accused involved in attack on Geo DSNG. The vehicle was the property of travel agent Malik Israr of F-10 and at the time of incident his son was also there in the vehicle.
Assistant Commissioner Islamabad and area magistrate Waqas Rasheed handed over the two accused to police for physical remand. The two accused Qaiser Mehmood and Salah Uddin were involved in the attack on Geo DSNG, reported daily Jang on December 29.
Except Geo and daily Jang no any other monitored newspapers or channels covered the incident.
ARY complaints of being victimized
ARY News aired breaking news and discussed in its program ‘Power Play’ on December 30 that the channel was not allowed to cover President of Pakistan in Peshawar.
No other monitored channels reported it except the ARY news.
Court annulled DTH bidding process
The Lahore High Court (LHC) nullified the auction of ‘Direct to Home’ (DTH) licence carried out by Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) after striking down the rules and regulations which barred broadcasters from participating in the bidding process.
The LHC bench comprising Justice Ayesha A Malik, Justice Shahid Karim and Justice Abid Aziz Sheikh accepted the petition filed by the Independent Newspapers Corporation and allowed broadcasters to participate in bidding, directing PEMRA to form rules and regulations for DTH.
Allowing the petition, the bench observed that the rules and DTH regulations shall be made as per the aim of the ordinance and not in conflict with it. Asma Jahangir represented the petitioner while Advocate Salman Akram Raja argued on behalf of PEMRA.
92 News, Abb Takk, Aaj News, ARY News, Capital TV, Dunya News, Express News, Geo News, Jaag TV, Neo TV, News One, Samaa TV aired breaking news, detailed news, tickers and programs on December 28, 29 while The Nation, The News, The Express Tribune, Business Recorder, Dawn, Pakistan Today, daily Jang, daily Express, Daily Dunya, daily Nawa-i-Waqt, daily Pakistan on December 29 reported the event.
All the monitored newspapers and television channels covering the story only presented one side of the story except Dawn newspaper that covered both the sides. Dawn published the stance of Pemra counsel as well; however others did not cover it.
Parliamentarian demand ban on anchorperson
A debate on the conflict of interest ensued during a meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage. PML-N’s Waseem Akhtar Sheikh, who is a member of the committee, said an anchorperson of Channel 24 has leveled baseless allegations against him in his show and PEMRA council of complaints has only fined the anchorperson Pakistan Rupees one million which was not enough.
“There should be a law on this issue and the committee should take up the matter because irresponsible reporting should not be tolerated,” he added, Dawn and daily Jang reported the event on December 29.
Press Club Elections
The Democrats maintained their control over the Karachi Press Club (KPC) as all candidates of the panel secured victory in the Elections 2017 held on December 31.
It was the seventh successive win for The Democrats, who have been victorious since 2011.
The Democrats candidate for the seat of the KPC secretary, Maqsood Ahmed Yousufi, who is the Editor of Daily Nai Baat, secured 497 votes; Siraj Ahmed of The Democrats panel polled 464 votes and became president of the KPC for the first time. News One aired detailed news on December 31 while The News, daily Dunya, daily Nawa-i-Waqt, daily Jang, daily Amn reported the event on January 1, 2017.
In other cities like Mirpur Khas, Umerkot and Digri, press club elections were also held and those were covered by Daily Express on December 26, daily Dunya on December 30, daily Amn on December 31.
Protection against libel and slander
Dawn on December 26 published an editorial entitled “Protection against libel and slander” which highlighted the ongoing tussle between Jang/Geo group and ARY group.
Litigating local disputes in foreign courts cannot be a sensible solution to the problem. What Pakistan needs is a Pakistani law; for individuals and organizations to challenge in court instances of what they believe to be libel or slander against them and for the courts to enforce a sensibly drafted law that protects free speech and media freedom while allowing for the punishment of those acting with willful malice.
A free and emboldened media is essential to a democratic society. But the media exists to inform, not to defame where appropriate, individuals should have choice to a reasonable law. A sensible new libel law could help push the media back to its public-interest roots.
Sahafat ka roshan chehra
Daily Pakistan on December 30 published an article entitled “Sahafat ka roshan chehra” written by Muhammad Asif Bhalli. The writer in this piece of writing praised the work and services of late journalist Anwar Qadwai in the field of journalism.
Pakistan Media Agency of the Year
OMD Pakistan a part of Omnicom Media Group won the title of ‘Pakistan Media Agency of the Year’ at the Campaign Asia-Pacific Agency of the Year Awards 2016; Business Recorder on December 30 reported the event.
Media Obituary/Condolence reference
Ishrat U Khan
Moro’s (District Naushahro Feroze) senior reporter of daily Nawa-i-Waqt and Waqt News Ishrat U Khan passed away at the age of 65 at Karachi. He was suffering from Hepatitis, reported daily Nawa-i-Waqt on December 28.
Aftab Ahmed Shaikh
Third death anniversary of former President of Jhuddo Press Club, Aftab Ahmed Shaikh was observed, reported daily Dunya on December 28.
Former President Asif Ali Zardari and members of Jamaat-i-Islami Sindh expressed condolence over the demise of senior journalist Anwar Qadwai, reported daily Amn and daily Dunya on December 26.
Dawn on December 30 while The Nation and daily Dunya on January 1, 2017 reported that a memorial reference was organized at the Centre for Excellence in Journalism, IBA to celebrate the life and work of Burhanuddin Hassan one of the stalwarts of broadcast journalism in Pakistan. Mr Hassan’s friends, family, colleagues, and those who considered him a mentor came together and shared witty tales about the man and the enigma.
Javed Jabbar, former senator, called Mr Hassan “a distinct pioneer in the field of broadcast journalism in Pakistan. His diverse contributions began [with] his role as news editor of Radio Pakistan soon after graduation, progressed to the Voice of America in Washington DC, and then coming back to form part of the pioneering team of Karachi television.”
PPF monitored 34 items out of which there were 11 breaking news, 10 detailed news, seven tickers and six 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 59 news items there were 47 events coverage, nine press releases, two opinions and one press briefing 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.