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AEMEND shows reservation over PEMRA Curb

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Recently, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority PEMRA; has advised satellite TV channels not to report on-going Government meetings. As well as, take careful consideration to report cabinet briefings and primarily rely on briefings provided by cabinet members. As PEMRA explained; following instruction has been issued to “avoid the airing of fake or speculative news”.

In response to this, the Association of Electronic Media Editors and News Directors (AEMEND) has express their concerns over this directive. The primary reason being that it undermines the freedom of media in Pakistan. Moreover, AEMEND also took exception for word “advice” because according them it’s actually a restriction.

“Such actions to curb media freedom are making Pemra controversial, Aemend is of the firm view that if there is news concerning the proceedings and decisions of the federal cabinet, and official circles decline to say anything on record, it is the media’s responsibility to report on matters of public interest. In addition, at times senior government officials themselves provide information on cabinet proceedings while requesting anonymity” – Azhar Abbas; AEMEND’s president said in a statement

Abbas also added that PEMRA is becoming more of a “censorship tool” rather than regulator. The association’s President emphasized that the Government had the right to contradict or clarify any report aired by a channel. Currently, AEMEND urged Union of Journalist and related Media organization to resist the censorship of content and undermine media’s freedom.

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