Reviving PTV

It is no secret that the PTV, Pakistan’s state-owned broadcaster, is in need of some changes. The production value of PTV’s content has not been updated over the years. Poor financial management, wastefulness and overstaffing have led PTV to become one of the many state enterprises which went from being profit-making to loss-making entities. Modernisation is badly needed—even the airing of cricket matches, which always has an audience, has been criticised for the poor quality of the footage.

This is why the new changes announced by Information Minister Fawad Hussain Chaudhry are exciting. The revamping and modernisation of the state broadcaster were long overdue. Modernisation reforms include converting PTV News and PTV Sports into full HD channels and taking steps to make the advertisement process paperless.

The first reform is a highly necessary one—PTV Sports was being beaten by international competitors because of low-quality broadcasting. The latter reform requires more diligence and consideration by the government. PTV went into loss partly because the government did not know how to take advantage of the modern advertisement structure- it is hoped that this time around, smart policies are enacted to make the advertisement model as up-to-date and profitable as possible.

Reforms regarding the content produced are also welcoming, although there are some issues to consider too in this regard. Pakistan’s film industry needs reviving.

The right way to go about this, as the government seems to be doing, is to support artists, filmmakers and content producers. This can be done through funding, royalty and intellectual property laws, and less stringent censors.

While the government is on the right track, none of these changes will be fully realised unless the government stays consistent and sees through the processing of any funds or reforms it makes. PTV has fallen prey to nepotistic decision making which has led to delay and wastefulness in the past—the government needs to check up on any progress it aims to make.

Source: The Nation (Editorial)


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