February 06, 2019
ISLAMABAD - The government is bringing a framework to regulate web TV, social, and other media through the Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority (PMRA).
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry stated this on Wednesday at the launching ceremony of Media-Lab.
The lab is a private sector venture aimed at identifying, supporting and accelerating early-stage innovative media start-up ideas focused on technology-based innovation in digital media and creating original content, or other digital media products.
During his address, Chaudhry said one of the reasons for constituting PMRA was that there was no remedy for the workers sacked by media houses.
He said that the previous government increased the media budget which added its dependence on public sector advertisements which disturbed the feasibility of many news organizations.
He added that an Indian company had purchased a Pakistani drama serial for $450,000 which was a good omen for the local drama industry.
The minister said with the start of Pakistan Super League this month a major chunk of advertisements would go to sports channels instead of news channels.
He said at a time when the government was unable to give subsidy to Hajj pilgrims; it would be impossible for it to take the burden of media and other businesses.
He said the use of modern digital technology was imperative for media advancement in the country yet local media houses lagged in using the latest technology.
Chaudhry said both the electronic and print media should adopt a business model depending on market forces to reduce their dependence on government advertisements.
According to the minister, the government had added digital media in advertisement tools, and one-third of the government advertisements were being allocated to digital media.
The minister said he had asked Facebook to open its office in Pakistan and it was keen to do so.
He said the digital media market was expanding in the country, but the problem was that money was going abroad, and there was a need to tackle that issue.
He pointed out that newspapers were closing because the proprietors were unable to change with time.
The advertisement scope for formal media was shrinking and shifting to digital media, he added.
The minister urged the media industry to initiate research to know the effects of digital media on the formal media.
He said the government had decided to transform the Associated Press of Pakistan into Digital Service of Pakistan. - APP/Photo: Twitter (@Team_Fawad)
The Express Tribune, May 3, 2019
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