January 28, 2020
ISLAMABAD—Dawn on Tuesday linked the apathy of the owners of media houses and the government for the death of a cameraman of Capital TV who suffered a heart attack after being fired from the job while awaiting payment of his dues for several months.
In an editorial, Media Crisis, the paper said: “Perhaps if the channel and government had acted earlier, Fayyaz Ali would be alive today.”
It said the media houses must explain why they are holding up salaries for months on end as “the government also cannot be absolved of blame in this matter, especially when it withholds ads—and, worse still, outstanding dues amounting to hundreds of millions of rupees—as a political tool.”
Dawn wants PEMRA to play a proactive role in getting the delayed salaries of TV channels released. And if the media houses don’t comply, the licenses of channels should be cancelled. “If media organisations refuse to do so, perhaps their licenses should be cancelled.”
It also wants PEMRA “to focus on making the government pay its dues, and hold off on issuing new licenses until the crisis subsides and the media industry’s health improves.”
Encapsulating the media crisis in Pakistan, the paper maintained: “To say that the Pakistani media is going through a grave crisis would be an understatement. The drop in revenues and stagnant state of the national economy overall has had a devastating effect on the country’s media organisations, with salaries slashed and hundreds of workers laid off. To add to this, many organisations have not paid their employees for weeks, if not months. When there are bills to pay and mouths to feed and the bank account is empty, the effect on people’s mental and physical health can be shattering.”
The Express Tribune, July 20, 2018
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