PEMRA in action: No live talk show on Pakistan News and Current Affairs channels
Islamabad, Pakistan: No live talk show on Pakistani news and current affairs channels shall be allowed without having delaying content mechanism.
Political Talk shows will be recorded and then broadcasted by channels having no facilities for content delaying machines. Responsibility of internal censor will be of owners as well as head of the department. The legal action including confiscation of equipment and compounding of production as well as transmission staff will be followed in future if objectionable comments are broadcasted by any private television channel.
The technical team of Pakistan Electronic Regularity Authority (PEMRA) will check technical facilities of all the private television channels broadcasting news and current affairs shows under section 3.9 of license terms and conditions. “No private channel shall be allowed transmitting and broadcasting live talk shows without having mechanism for delaying content over 2 minutes for internal censor purposes, claim sources in PEMRA”, claim sources.
According to details provided by sources to Dispatch News Desk news agency, PEMRA authorities believe that only 10% of private television channels are facilities for delaying content for international censor and even these channels are not using this system, resulting broadcasting sensitive content and abusive comments against state institutions including judiciary and Pakistan Army. Objectionable content against religions had also broadcasted by some channels in past because production as well as transmission departments of private television channels do not care for international censor. Geo News has been under fire for such practices and several cases are waiting for decisions against the administration of Independent Media Corporation (IMC) – the mother organization of Geo news and entertainment channels. While action was taken against ARY News also in past but electronic media in Pakistan due to its huge volume is not ready to accept PEMRA as an authority to follow though it is the sole authority providing broadcasting licenses to these channels.
The issue of clamping electronic media has again surface after recent objectionable speech Chief of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Altaf Hussian from London broadcasted by 14 television channels without any censor. Hussian abused Pakistan army, threaten state of Pakistan for dire consequences and asked his workers to take weapons against law enforcing forces while demanding help from Indian intelligence agency RAW. PEMRA issued show cause notices to 14 Television channels those were involved in broadcasting speech of Altaf Hussian.
PEMRA sources are of the view that this latest development has pushed PEMRA as well as ministry of Information and Broadcasting to fix things once for all.
Copy of the show notice to 14 television channels given by PEMRA is hereunder: