PEMRA to launch interactive learning programme for media persons: Chairman

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) would launch an interactive learning programme “Code of Conduct: A Collective Responsibility”,with media houses and journalists from Monday.

Addressing a press conference here, Chairman PEMRA Absar Alam said that the purpose of this initiative was to have an open discussion on electronic media code of conduct 2015, and to get feed back from the relevant stakeholder on improving the regulatory function of PEMRA and to bridge the gap between the regulatory authority and relevant stakeholders.

The first session will be held here with local TV channels newsroom and staffers. He said that in next few months PEMRA team will go to all the four provinces for these interactive sessions on electronic media code of conduct. He said that in order to mark this new initiative, the PEMRA has organized panel discussions with some of the leading journalists and anchorpersons of the country.

The panel discussions topics include media: independent but less responsible?,fake images and fake news: how social media is affecting journalism and ratings vs truth: does Pakistani electronic media follow professional standards? He said that civil society members,reporters,students are also invited to the event to share their concerns and to give their feed back on the effective implementation of electronic media code of conduct.

Later replying to media persons questions,the PEMRA chairman said that the learning programme would be like a refresher course for the electronic media. He said that the electronic media had a mushroom growth and its staffers could not be provided proper training. He said that the PEMRA has been imposing fines on the violators of the code to bring improvement in the electronic media.

He said that the media houses owners should use this medium in a responsible manner, otherwise the people will lose interest in these channels. He said that no strict punishment has been given to any TV channel so far and even Supreme Court has commented that PEMRA punishments were not strict.

About Direct to Home system, he said that PEMRA has received the copy of Lahore High Court decision yesterday after consultations with legal team decision on the appeal on appeal in Supreme Court will be taken. He said that in the recent past violations of code of conduct have increased but PEMRA has been striving educate the media persons about the same.

He said that talks with Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) are going on on this issue and they have given some proposals.

TO a question, he said that following the rejection of security clearance application by the Interior Ministry, Bol TV has been issued a show cause notice.

However he said that a case was pending in the Sindh High Court and no final decision can be taken on the issue till the court decision.