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December 3, 2018

CPNE hails information ministry’s move on new ads policy


December 3, 2018

KARACHI: The Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) has welcomed the Federal Information Ministry’s move to hold consultation with CPNE over the proposed new advertisement policy and has termed the decisions taken in the proposed policy such as the just, judicious, transparent and unbiased distribution of advertisements, the prohibition of the distribution of advertisements for the purposes of reward or punishment on the basis of editorial policy and the release of advertisements and payments directly to the newspapers as commendable and media friendly.

However, serious reservations have been expressed at over-centralisation in which the 25% quota for regional newspaper has been abolished and the small newspapers have been neglected.

According to a press release of CPNE, a Standing Committee Meeting of the CPNE presided by the CPNE President Arif Nizami reviewed the proposed advertisement policy in detail after which the introduction of the proposed policy and the first two pages of the document based on the objectives was declared encouraging and commendable.

This is because the Federal Information Ministry for the first time has taken decisions in support of media pluralism and diversity. Ensuring the transparent and purposeful expenditure of advertisement funds and stopping the distribution of advertisements on political basis. The CPNE highly appreciated the inclusion of clauses of the distribution of ads impartially and the terming of biased distribution of ads as being against the freedom of expression. However, it expressed displeasure over abolishing the quota for the local newspapers and sidelining the small newspapers and termed it unacceptable. It termed the abolishing of the 25% quota for the regional newspapers and ignoring the small to medium sized newspapers published in the metropolitan cities as equivalent to causing loss to the journalists and workers of the regional and small newspapers.

Standing Committee of the CPNE demanded that the 25% quota of the local newspapers in the federal advertisements be restored immediately and the provision of advertisements to the small to medium sized newspapers being published from metropolitan cities be ensured.

The CPNE has also termed the decision to end the local authority with regards to the distribution of advertisements of the federation’s autonomous government institutions and departments as irrational. It has severely opposed this move and has declared the committee consisting of government officers formed for the supervision of the distribution of government advertisement as being one sided. The CPNE has demanded to include the representatives of the editors of CPNE. The CPNE expressed doubts over the mention of national newspapers in the proposed policy as this was neither defined nor clarified. The CPNE has decided that there is a strong need for changes and amendments and reforms in certain clauses of the proposed ad policy for which the CPNE will send its recommendations based on its point of view to the Information Ministry.

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