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January 18, 2020

APNS flays federal govt’s centralisation of advertisement policy

National

 
January 18, 2020

KARACHI: The bureaucrats in the Information Ministry for the last few years have perpetually initiated schemes in the Media Regulatory Authority, Media Courts, Media Policy, etc, to control and subjugate the media, which have been outrightly rejected by the the stakeholders in the media. This was stated by Hameed Haroon, President and Sarmad Ali, Secretary General, APNS, on behalf of the APNS Executive Committee.

In continuation with the same policy line, now, the Prime Minister Secretariat has issued a centralisation policy directing all the federal government advertisements to be issued through PID and the sponsoring organizations have been barred to select their media in accordance with their requirements. The APNS reiterates that this policy would result in centralization of the decision making process of all ministries, departments and autonomous bodies in the hands of a few individuals and will wreak havoc with the independent functioning of these institutions.

The policy will negate the independence of the departments in their choice of communication through their selected media and in fact result in taking over the entire functioning of all the state institutions. The policy is heavily based on the scheme of centralization of advertisements enacted by the dictatorial regime of Gen. Ayub Khan in July 1966. With each change of government, the information bureaucracy has attempted to implement this outdated and archaic policy.

The APNS has noted that in the past, such efforts to control the media, were strongly rejected by the media organizations because it would be used as a tool to twist media arms and curb its independence. The APNS office bearers requested the prime minister to review and withdraw the order issued by the Prime Minister Secretariat in the interest of an independent and objective media in the country.