Pemra bans crime re-enactment shows

ISLAMABAD - Following the instruction of standing committee, Pakistan Electronic Media Regularity Authority (PEMRA) yesterday banned the re-enactment, telecast the names of rape victims and crime raids on electronic media with the start of holy Month Ramazan.

Addressing a press conference Chairman PEMRA Absar Alam said that Authority has taken up this issue with media owners and asked them to stop these kinds of programmes but it could not get a positive response so far. He said that it is the PEMRA responsibility to play its role against those TV channels which violate the PEMRA code and conduct and aired banned content-based programmes. He urged the media to follow the media ethics during its live transmission.

Absar said the Authority have been receiving complaints from the viewers about telecast of murder, robbery, suicide incidents especially re-enactments of such criminal activities and programmes depicting violation of human rights granted in the Constitution. He said the PEMRA has given the power to Chairman PEMRA to cancel the license of any TV channel which will violate the rules regarding banned programme in its 112th meeting.

He mentioned that National Assembly and Senate Standing Committees, Punjab Assembly through a resolution and Islamabad High Court through its verdict advised the Authority to take strict action against such violations. He said that in future there would also be a ban on revealing the name and telecast footage of a rape victim and airing of interviews of her relatives. The chairman said that proprietors of satellite channels have been reminded time and again about such violations but unfortunately no heed was paid to them. He said that the Authority after thorough deliberations on the issue in various meetings decided to take action against such violators impose ban on such programmes.

He clarified that this ban would not affect investigative reporting within the ambit of constitution, journalistic ethics and terms of conditions in this regard would be notified very soon. He said that this ban would not affect the freedom of expression granted in Article 19 of the Constitution.

Earlier, a detailed presentation was also given to highlight steps taken by the Authority during past five months to remove hurdles in resolution of problems being faced by the satellite channels. He said that licencing process for cable network had been liberalised and process for bidding of Direct to Home (DTH) system had been restarted.

He said that during the past five months, 35 advices, 13 warnings and 25 show cause notices were issued to various satellite channels.

Since December 2015, three licences were suspended while fine worth Rs3.85 million were imposed on the electronic media. During this period 152 complaints were referred to Council of Complaints out of which action was taken on 134, he mentioned.

He said that an advisory had already been issued to all TV channels to uphold the sanctity of the Holy month of Ramazan and do not telecast anything against its sanctity.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt