August 06, 2016
ISLAMABAD – The Council of PEMRA that met in Islamabad heard a string of complaints, among them one filed by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf relating to airing of false news about Imran Khan’s third marriage.
Iftikhar Durrani, head of PTI’s Central Media Department elaborated on the complaint in front of the Council members. Almost 23 channels ran the news out of which 14 submitted their responses. The house directed the remaining channels to respond and later postponed the hearing for a week.
The television channels appeared to have a field day on July 12 repeatedly airing the news that Imran had married a third time despite denials by PTI.
The house also took up another complaint against ARY News and DawnNews lodged by President Mamnoon Hussain’s press secretary. In May, the two channels erroneously reported the president was unwell and had been hospitalized.
The meeting noted that since both channels had aired apologies to the satisfaction of the complainant, no further action was required. However, the erring organizations were advised to refrain from irresponsible reporting in future.
A complaint by Prime Minister’s daughter Maryam Nawaz against Channel 24 was also heard. The complaint relates to Mubashar Lucman's program Khara Such, aired on June 10, 2016.
Maryam said the host conducted a show that was baseless and based on ill-intention. In it, a picture was shown that Lucman said was Maryam chairing a meeting of federal secretaries in the absence of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
However, the image in fact was that of a meeting from January 24 that Maryam chaired as the chairperson of Prime Minister Youth Loan Program which was attended by regional heads of National Bank of Pakistan.
A representative of Channel 24 was unable to furnish evidence in the meeting. The Council directed the channel to respond in writing by next Friday so that the complaint could be wound up.
Another matter taken up was that of Opposition Leader Khursheed Shah who had filed a complaint against Samaa Television that reported on June 27 that contracts for projects were given out at the behest of Shah and he had also inaugurated them.
However, Samaa were unable to present evidence to support their reporting. They were asked to submit documentary evidence so that a decision could be taken in the next Council meeting.
Meanwhile, the Council recommended a fine of Rs200,000 on Geo News after hearing a complaint of Rana Muhammad Afzal, a Member of National Assembly. He complained that Geo had telecast a baseless news report that had damaged his political reputation.
Later, the Council discussed a complaint against Roze TV by Fauzia Saeed, Executive Director Lok Virsa. She said the channel had made baseless allegations against her and the organization she heads.
The hearing was however postponed until next week after the channel could not present documentary evidence.
Image courtesy: PEMRA
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