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February 28, 2020

‘Print media has a distinct place despite rise of social, online media’

Islamabad

February 28, 2020

Islamabad : Eulogising the role played by media in addressing social issues and nation building, President Dr Arif Alvi reiterated the government’s commitment to transform Pakistan into a great country and nation.

Addressing, the 24th Award Distribution Ceremony of All Pakistan Newspaper Society (APNS), Wednesday, the president said that APNS has been struggling for the rights of journalists since long, and the sitting government was doing all it can to play its part in addressing the challenges faced by print media around the country.

“It is not only in Pakistan, the print media is in crisis across the globe. It is facing the biggest challenge in the form of rise of social/online media,” he added.

He said the print media is in crisis across the globe. It is facing the biggest challenge in the form of rise of social/online media.

The president said that the government is seriously committed to bring the print media industry out of its current crisis.

The ceremony was also addressed by Special Assistant on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, while APNS President Hameed Haroon delivered the welcome note and highlighted the crisi faced by print media around the country. APNS General Secretary and Jang Media Group Managing Director Syed Sarmad Ali, Senator Faisal Javed, and Sheikh Rashid Ahmad were also present on the occasion.

The President referred to the current situation in India and said that the neighbouring country had fallen into a deep ravine. He said that looking at the existing situation in India has proved what Quad-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah decision of a separate nation for Muslims in sub-continent was great one.

The President said that despite the growth and popularity of electronic and social media, particularly among the youth, print media had its own importance and place in the society.

He said that the previous governments used the advertising policy for their political objectives.

The President said that fake news, which were based on lies, affect the world in different ways and should be a matter of concern for any society.

He said that media besides indulging in criticism should also play its role in highlighting the social issues and creating awareness about polio, population control, women rights etc.

The president said that with 40 per cent of the country’s children facing malnutrition, Prime Minister Imran Khan was working hard on health issues. He said that Pakistani nation had exhibited their courage in the fight against terrorism and extremism.

President Alvi said those countries and nations, who are lecturing others on human rights, are now closing their borders to refugees.

On the contrary, Pakistan despite being a poor country has hosted 5.1 million Afghan refugees for four decades and even today 2.5 million are still living there. “This is our character and the real essence of Pakistan," he added.

Speaking on the occasion, Special Assistant on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said that from March 2020 onwards, a comprehensive media strategy for allocation of budgets, media releases and strategy for new businesses, and clearance of pending dues would be finalized in consultation with media. “There seems to be some miscommunication or communication gap or communication failure between the government and the media, and the government would sit with the media to remove their apprehensions," she said.

Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan requested the APNS to submit their comments on the draft advertisement policy for consideration. The APNS is the most important stakeholder and their comments are very important in finalizing the new advertisement policy, she added.

About the social media regulations, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said that a committee had been formed to review social media regulations.

The APNS President, Hameed Haroon, highlighted the issues and challenges being faced by the print media industry.