Monday February 06, 2023

Pemra warns TV channels against airing content against institutions

By News Desk
May 10, 2022
The PEMRA building in Islamabad. Photo: The News/File
The PEMRA building in Islamabad. Photo: The News/File

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) on Monday issued directives to all satellite TV channels to refrain from airing content against state institutions.

“It has been observed that a few satellite TV channels are airing content which [is] tantamount to casting aspersions against state institutions, i.e. armed forces and judiciary,” the statement issued by the regulatory authority noted.

It mentioned that airing of such content violates the directives issued by the Authority, provisions of Pemra Electronic Media (Programmes and Advertisement) Code of Conduct 2015 and the principles laid down by the superior courts.

“… all satellite TV channel licensees are hereby directed to follow the principles laid down in the judgement of the Supreme Court of Pakistan passed in suo moto case no 28 of 2018 and the judgement of the Islamabad High Court passed in Criminal Original No 270/2019 dated 25-11-2019 and ensure strict compliance to the relevant provisions of Pemra laws,” the statement read. According to the statement following are the provisions:

Section 20(f) of PEMRA Ordinance 2002 as amended by PEMRA (Amendment) Act 2007: A person who is issued a licence under this Ordinance shall comply with the codes of programmes and advertisements approved by the authority and appoint an in-house monitoring committee, under intimation to the authority, to ensure compliance with the code.

Rule 15(1) PEMRA Rules:

The contents of the programmes and advertisements which are broadcast or distributed by the broadcast media or distribution service operator shall conform to the provisions of Section 20 of the Ordinance, these rules, the code set out in the Schedule-A and the terms and conditions of the licence.

Provisions of Electronic Media (Programmes and Advertisements) Code of Conduct 2015:

3(16). Fundamental principles:- The licensee shall ensure that no content is aired which contains aspersions against the judiciary or armed forces of Pakistan.

4. News and current affairs programmes:- The licensee shall ensure that programmes on sub-judice matters may be aired in an informative manner and shall be handled objectively:

Provided that no content shall be aired, which tends to prejudice the determination by a court, tribunal or any other judicial or quasi-judicial forum.

The authority further directed all satellite TV channels to ensure that an effective Time Delay Mechanism is put in place and an impartial and independent editorial board be constituted as required under Clause 17 of the Electronic Media (Programmes and Advertisement) Code of Conduct 2015 in order to ensure that their platform is not used by anyone for uttering contemptuous remarks in any manner whatsoever against any state institutions.

“In case of any violation observed legal action under Section 27, 29, 30 and 33 of Pemra Ordinance 2002 as amended by Pemra (Amendment) Act 2007 shall be initiated,” it warned.