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February 7, 2019

Media should look for revenue from market forces: minister

Top Story

February 7, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain Wednesday called on the media to carry out research on the effects of digital media on the formal media, advising the media not to rely on the government and look for revenues from the market forces.

“The government is a client for the media and not a messiah and if it becomes a messiah then the media will not remain free,” he maintained.

Speaking here at a function in relation to the importance of the digital media, the minister said that the Facebook had been approached to open its office in Pakistan for advertisement. “We are trying to ensure that advertisement funds remain in Pakistan,” he noted.

He called on the media houses to adopt a policy of reliance on the modern day technology instead of relying on the government.

The minister explained that thousands of youths with degrees in their hands were entering the media market while there was no difference now between newspapers, television and a website, as everything was available on a mobile phone. He said that a regulator was needed to look at all these media.

The minister said Pakistan had allocated one-thirds of government advertisements to digital media, noting that advertisements of worth about Rs7 billion were being generated in Pakistan.

He contended advertisement platforms were shrinking from formal media to digital media. He said there was a crisis in the media industry, but it was linked with technology, as the media houses were lagging behind in using modern technology.

The government, he announced, had decided to transform the Associated Press of Pakistan into the Digital Service of Pakistan. He said the government was spending Rs850 million on APP, but what an irony it was that majority of its staff was unable to operate an email account. The minister said the government was bringing a framework to regulate web TV, social media, and other media.

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