KARACHI: Terming the proposed Pakistan Media Development Authority (PMDA) “unconstitutional”, a meeting of the Joint Action Committee of Media Organisations vowed to continue their protest against the government’s move to establish the media authority.
The decision was taken during a meeting of the joint action committee held on September 10, where all representative media organisations namely Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA), All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE), Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), and the Association of Electronic Media Editors and News Directors (AEMEND) were present.
During the meeting, they reiterated their stance of rejecting the proposed PMDA vehemently and termed the concept "unconstitutional" and a move to "muzzle the freedom of press and expression by imposing state control" to regulate all media platforms under one central body.
The meeting expressed full support for the PFUJ’s demonstration on September 13 in front of Parliament House against its establishment.
The statement further said, in addition to all media representative organisations, the bar associations, political parties, human rights organisations, and other civil society organisations will also participate in the sit-in.
All media associations in the Joint Action Committee reiterated their commitment to thwart the government's efforts to legislate for the establishment of the PMDA.
The PMDA has been described in the Ordinance as “an independent, efficient, effective and transparent” Authority which will regulate all forms of media, including digital media.
In fact, now under the Ordinance, print and digital media will also need a license to establish and operate in the country.
The draft describes digital media as online newspapers, web TV channels, OTT content platforms, online news channels, video logs and YouTube channels, Netflix, Amazon Prime etc.
Once established, the Authority will consist of a chairperson and 11 members to be appointed by the President of Pakistan on the advice of the federal government. The chairperson of the Authority will be appointed from a panel of grade 21-22 of information group officers.
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