Journalism Pakistan
Latest:
Women in Media: North Macedonian journalist faces threats after interview clip sharedNewsroom Pakistan: Kamal Siddiqi honored with Journalists of Courage Impact Award in ManilaNewsroom Pakistan: Vanishing voices: The fall of investigative journalism in PakistanJSchool: Defining journalism in the digital age: Who qualifies as a journalist?Newsroom Pakistan: CPJ decries journalist murders in Pakistan, demands swift justiceWomen in Media: Ukrainian journalist Anna Kalyuzhna threatened with death and rape after army commander's accusationsOpportunities: Fellowship for journalists to cover UN Biodiversity ConventionDigital Connections: Niger reintroduces prison sentences for cyber offensesAsia: Taliban arrest journalist in Bagram districtNewsroom Pakistan: Dawn highlights the perils of journalism in Pakistan, calls for an end to impunityNewsroom Pakistan: IFJ urges action after seventh journalist killed in Pakistan this yearDigital Connections: Shahid Afridi faces social media backlash over pro-Israel photo

PFUJ rejects Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority

 JournalismPakistan.com
 January 26, 2019

PFUJ rejects Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority

ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has rejected the government’s decision to establish the Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority (PMRA).

Establishing such a regulator would be an act worse than the Press and Publications Ordinance promulgated by former military dictator General Ayub Khan, the union said in joint statement by PFUJ President Afzal Butt, and Secretary Ayub Jan Sarhandi.

“The PFUJ expresses serious concern over the government’s decision and warns that it would not accept such draconian black laws.”

The establishment of PMRA is shrouded in mystery, with the draft for the establishment of the authority not shared with relevant stakeholders.

“PFUJ has come to know that the draft for PMRA has provisions related to cruel punishments for violations, which have not been made public. Aimed at introducing a system of annual licensing for print media, the establishment of PMRA is akin to making the press subservient to the bureaucrats of the federal ministry of information and broadcasting. This violates Article 19 of the Constitution of Pakistan, which guarantees freedom of expression as a fundamental human right.

The PFUJ said that setting up of a federal institution to regulate printing and publication — which is a provincial subject after the 18th Constitutional Amendment — interferes in the domain of the provinces and is, therefore, also in violation of the Constitution.

“The government is violating the Constitution with the ulterior motive of subjecting the print media to draconian black laws, which would never be accepted by PFUJ.”

Bringing print and electronic media, i.e., radio, TV, and digital media, under a single regulatory authority is completely illogical, the statement said. The two domains are completely distinct from each other requiring different rules and regulations. Nowhere in the civilized world — including developed and developing countries — are the regulatory bodies and regulatory rules of the print and electronic media the same. Putting both print and electronic media under a single regulatory authority in Pakistan would, therefore, create serious problems for freedom of press, accountability, and governance.

The union pointed out that media stakeholders were not taken on board in the decision to form PMRA. “PFUJ would not accept enactment of any media-related law without its input in the process.

Establishment of PMRA would abolish laws like the Press Council of Pakistan Ordinance, Press Newspapers, News Agencies, and Books Registration Ordinance, and Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), which were promulgated after consultations with media representatives.

Abolishing the laws above would also put an end to the Wage Award under which the media employees’ salaries are determined.

PFUJ has a long and proud history of struggle against such draconian laws and warns the government to stay away from opening another Pandora’s box for itself by establishing PMRA.

PFUJ urges the democratic forces, scholars, civil society, political parties, and lawyers to unite in raising their voice against government’s attempts at curbing freedom of the press.

The union has appealed to the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE), and Pakistan Broadcasters’ Association (PBA) to fully support the struggle against the imposition of draconian laws to curb freedom of the press. 

“Let us not forget that freedom of the press is the key to democratic freedom. As famously put by Thomas Jefferson, ‘Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.’”

Back

Kamal Siddiqi honored with Journalists of Courage Impact Award in ManilaKamal Siddiqi honored with Journalists of Courage Impact Award in Manila

 June 24, 2024:  Pakistani journalist Kamal Siddiqi has been honored with the Journalists of Courage Impact Award at the East-West Center Internati...

Vanishing voices: The fall of investigative journalism in PakistanVanishing voices: The fall of investigative journalism in Pakistan

 June 23, 2024:  Explore the decline of investigative journalism in Pakistan and understand the economic, political, and safety challenges that jou...

CPJ decries journalist murders in Pakistan, demands swift justiceCPJ decries journalist murders in Pakistan, demands swift justice

 June 22, 2024:  The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) expresses deep concern over the killing of veteran journalist Khalil Jibran in Pakistan...

Dawn highlights the perils of journalism in Pakistan, calls for an end to impunityDawn highlights the perils of journalism in Pakistan, calls for an end to impunity

 June 21, 2024:  Daily Dawn calls for justice following the murder of journalist Khalil Jibran in Landi Kotal, highlighting the threats and violenc...

IFJ urges action after seventh journalist killed in Pakistan this yearIFJ urges action after seventh journalist killed in Pakistan this year

 June 20, 2024:  The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns the killing of journalist Khalil Jibran in Landi Kotal, Khyber Pakhtunk...

Journalist Khalil Gibran laid to rest after tragic shooting in Khyber PakhtunkhwaJournalist Khalil Gibran laid to rest after tragic shooting in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

 June 19, 2024:  Journalist Khalil Gibran was laid to rest after being fatally shot in Tehsil Landi Kotal, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The incident, which ...

Khyber News correspondent Khalil Jibran murdered in Landi KotalKhyber News correspondent Khalil Jibran murdered in Landi Kotal

 June 18, 2024:  Khyber News Television correspondent Khalil Jibran was tragically shot dead in Landi Kotal, District Khyber. The journalist, who h...

PTV Sports terminates Rashid Latif's contract amidst controversyPTV Sports terminates Rashid Latif's contract amidst controversy

 June 15, 2024:  PTV Sports has terminated Rashid Latif's contract, sparking controversy and speculation. Despite a recent extension, Latif's depar...

Newsroom
North Macedonian journalist faces threats after interview clip shared

North Macedonian journalist faces threats after interview clip shared

 June 24, 2024 The Coalition for Women in Journalism (CFWIJ) strongly condemns the misogynistic attacks and threats against North Macedonian journalist Lepa Djundeva following the sharing of her interview excerpt by Bogdan Ilievski. The CFWIJ calls for the immediate removal of the clip to protect Djundeva's well-being.

Ukrainian journalist Anna Kalyuzhna threatened with death and rape after army commander's accusations

Ukrainian journalist Anna Kalyuzhna threatened with death and rape after army commander's accusations

 June 21, 2024 Ukrainian war correspondent Anna Kalyuzhna faces severe threats following accusations by an army commander. The Coalition for Women in Journalism and World Press Freedom call for an urgent investigation into the threats against her and her family.

Fellowship for journalists to cover UN Biodiversity Convention

Fellowship for journalists to cover UN Biodiversity Convention

 June 21, 2024 Earth Journalism Network launches a fellowship for journalists to attend and report from the UN Convention on Biological Diversity in October-November 2024. This opportunity supports reporters from low- and middle-income countries in covering critical biodiversity issues.

Taliban arrest journalist in Bagram District

Taliban arrest journalist in Bagram District

 June 21, 2024 Journalist Abdullah Danish has been arrested by Taliban intelligence in Parwan province. The reason for his detention remains unclear, with Danish being taken to an unknown location. The Taliban have imposed severe restrictions on the media since their takeover of Afghanistan.

French reporter forced out of India

French reporter forced out of India

 June 20, 2024 The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) calls on Indian authorities to renew French journalist Sebastien Farcis' permit and stop hindering journalists' work through legal technicalities, emphasizing the need for press freedom.