Supreme Court asks PEMRA to explain its role for press freedom

PEMRA New 1ISLAMABAD—The Supreme Court has issued notice to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) following complaints that journalists were not allowed to work freely and pursue their careers, Express Tribune reported.

“[The PEMRA chairman] is directed to submit his written response disclosing action taken against the media houses/television channels which resort to such tactics,” the order read.

“PEMRA should also disclose its role in ensuring that press freedom is ensured and that all political parties, both in the government and in opposition, receive the same broadcast time in compliance with the reported judgments in the cases of Fatehyab Ali Khan and Muhammad Aslam Saleemi.”

The court observed that allegations had also been made that media houses/TV channels, which agreed to project a particular political narrative and suppress a contrary one, benefitted financially by misusing public exchequer funds as they were given advertisements while others were deprived.

“Therefore, a notice be also issued to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting through its secretary, who is directed to provide details of the amounts paid/disbursed on account of advertisements in the last financial year till date, and the criteria, if any, used in determining the beneficiaries. Other benefits that may have been given, including foreign trips, also be disclosed.”

Source: Journalism Pakistan

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