Revolutionary steps coupled with introduction of cutting-edge technology paved the way for transforming the national media networks in the country, said a three-year performance report of the Ministry of Information of Broadcasting launched here Thursday.

The journey of national media transformation kicked off in 2018 when Prime Minister Imran Khan came into the power and assigned the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting with a task of digitizing its departments to push the country’s narrative at international level in an effective way.

Prior to August 2018, rules, regulations and systems for development of media industry were either outdated or non-existent. Projection of government’s initiatives and projects at home and to create positive image of the country abroad was incoherent and lacking synergy. Resultantly, the public sector media organizations became irrelevant and uncompetitive due to use of obsolete and redundant analogue technology. Media industry grew exponentially, but there was no system in place to provide proper media education and training to media persons.

Entire government machinery was using inefficient and non-transparent manual file handling. The media industry was facing financial crunch and sense of dissatisfaction and job insecurity by the media workers.

However, the remarkable steps of the government led to a visible improvement in overall working of media industry through key objectives of the vision included effective two-way communication by the state with citizens to ensure good governance, strengthening Pakistan’s image abroad, digitalization and modernization of APPC, PBC, PTVC, SRBC& PEMRA, streamlining of registration procedures for publications, news agencies, digitization of media monitoring and analysis processes, automation of registration procedures.

Promotion and development of film industry, media development through capacity building, merit based financial assistance to journalists / journalist bodies, e-filing system for Ministry and attached Departments, setting up of state-of-the-art Media University to provide quality education in the fields of Mass Media, social media and Communication and transparent and fair distribution of government advertisements also formed part of key objectives of the present government’s vision.

For realization of the vision the ministry took several initiatives including establishment of Pakistan Information Commission, Digital Media Wing and all media regulatory bodies are being brought under one Umbrella of Pakistan Media Development Authority (PDMA).

It also approved new advertisement policy and launched online application for Press Registrar Office, Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC). During the PTI tenure, Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) joined a few nations like Russia, Indonesia and South Africa by adopting DRM transmission technology and developed a Mobile Application (Android & iOS) and started live audio streaming by 25 channels.

ToRs were finalized for newly created Board of Governors (BoGs) on Film Policy 2018 and database of artists was being created and updated.

The ministry completed physical verification of over 800 newspapers/periodicals and distribution of Rs.42.23 million was done to journalists and Press Clubs. It has channeled Government’s initiatives, programs and projects in the Social Media, identified and reacted to fake news on Pakistan. It was also setting up of first ever National Media University put on fast track.

Awareness and outreach for the Ministry’s initiates included effective two-way communication by the state with citizens to ensure good governance and strengthening Pakistan’s image abroad.

Digitalization and modernization of APPC, PBC, PTVC, SRBC& PEMRA and streamlining of registration procedures for publications, news agencies has been done. Digitization of media monitoring & analysis processes and automation of registration procedures has been done and promotion and development of film industry was being done. Media development was being done through capacity building and merit based financial assistance to journalists / journalist bodies had been planned.

E-filing system for Ministry and attached Departments has been introduced. A state-of-the-art Media University to provide quality education in the fields of Mass Media, social media and Communication was being set up.

Transparent and fair distribution of government advertisements was being introduced.

The initiatives for awareness and outreach included experts meeting on the new challenges of media training with ISESCO, workshop for Female Journalists on “Empowering Women in Media; Inclusion Leadership and Technology,” one day Workshop on ‘Story telling with info graphics: The art of Data Visualization, seminar on “International Day in Support of Victims of Torture” (Humans without Human Rights in IOJ&K), Kashmir under siege seminar, panel Discussion on Kashmir Siege Day. Training on Media Engagement for Civil Servants was organized and a Grand Finale of National Amateur Short Film Festival (NASFF) in collaboration with ISPR was held in June 2021. 11 photographic and painting exhibitions were organized on Kashmir Day, World Environment Day, Pakistan Day and Quaid-i-Azam Day.

Source: Daily Times

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