Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has been really active in the past couple of years especially after Imran Khan became the Prime Minister of the country. The authority recently issued notices to 14 TV channels for violating its advice with regard to the references filed against the Supreme Court and High Court judges with the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC). The regulatory authority had instructed all the TV channels to avoid comments on this issue in the future.
Geo News, Dawn News, ARY News, Express News, Ab Tak, GNN, Samaa News, Sach TV, Neo, and Koh Noor TV have been issued the show cause notices and they have been asked to submit their replies to the show cause notices within seven days i.e. till June 11.
The story doesn’t end here as the authority also took notice against Geo News and Dunya News for broadcasting 'baseless news' about the alleged misuse of authority by Minister of State for Interior Sheharyar Afridi and Prime Minister’s no-confidence in the performance of ex-Finance Minister Asad Umar. Both these channels have been issued show cause notices for this act. In a statement issued here, Pemra said the two television channels had been given two days to come up with evidence regarding the reports they ran on their channels. In case these channels couldn’t provide strong evidence, they would have to apologize and this should be aired repeatedly during prime time.
Pemra had cited a July 2018 judgment of the Supreme Court in which directives were issued to media that no media discussion, articles or editorials would be written or published and no public comments would be made on the proceedings of the SJC and only the case proceedings would be reported.
It is true that we lack responsible journalism in our country and we are glad to see that PEMRA is taking notices against the channels who are running baseless news and misguiding the citizens.