October 30, 2019
ISLAMABAD — Dawn on Wednesday hit out at electronic media regulator PEMRA, terming its directive on prohibiting anchors from offering opinions on either their talk shows or on other current affairs programs as absurd
The editorial — Pemra’s absurd directive — maintained that “the authority has no jurisdiction to define the job description of those in the profession of journalism. Nor is it its prerogative to expound on the qualifications of an ‘acceptable’ analyst.”
PEMRA on Sunday declared that TV anchors could no longer offer their opinions on either their talk shows or on other current affairs programs as “subject matter experts.”
It solicited a strong response from everyone, including the PTI ministers and legislators.
Dawn said the directive about anchors is part of the continuous efforts to muzzle media. “The ever-expanding strictures on press freedom are now beginning to throttle even the voice of those television anchors who earlier shrugged off allegations that the media in Pakistan is under sustained attack.”
It said that one of the reasons for the directive might be the critical tone of anchors against the PTI government. “One may well ask whether Pemra’s latest move is a response to the fact that talk show hosts have of late become a tad more critical of the government’s performance, which some PTI legislators have found extremely irksome.”
The paper concluded that the PTI government seems to be on a drive “to reshape the media landscape into an anodyne entity shorn of any independent thought or public interest journalism can only be countered by collective resistance.”
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