KARACHI: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority
(PEMRA) issued a warning to television channels against airing content that goes against state institutions. That includes spreading misinformation and propaganda.
As per the PEMRA warning, channels would be held liable if misinformation is spread in the form of news, through anchors, analysts or guests. The official statement reads, “Airing of such content is in violation of the directives issued by the authority, provisions of PEMRA Electronic Media (programs and advertisements) Code of Conduct 2015 and the principles laid down by the Superior Courts.”
The Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) made a statement to clarify their stance in lieu of the PEMRA warning and said they support the notion of freedom of expression and media. However, that does not mean disinformation against institutions should go unchecked. They went on to state that they are working with the government and media organizations to come up with rules against the spread of disinformation on social media which has an adverse impact on journalism.
This comes after PEMRA issued a warning in the form of a show cause notice against ARY NEWS for airing “False, hateful and seditious” content based on “absolute disinformation with a clear and present threat to national security by instigating rebellion within the armed forces”.
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The notice went on to claim that PTI leader Dr. Shehbaz Gill, who was a guest on the channel, made “highly hateful and seditious” remarks that could “incite armed forces towards revolt”.
This warning came after ARY NEWS was removed from channel lists in many parts of the country.