As a regulator, Pemra’s responsibility is to promote media and to regulate it. This requires a balancing act, where regulator must carefully calibrate the penalties that the law has provided.
Pemra has taken the drastic step of shutting down two member channels of PBA, Din News and Neo News. One for a month and the other for a week. These are extreme and harsh penalties. PBA condemns this harsh move.
Suspending a TV channel’s license is equal to killing it. It seriously threatens the channel’s existence and also impacts thousands of its employees and their families whose livelihood is connected to it.
The balance between freedom of speech and responsibility is everyone’s responsibility including and especially the regulator who in this case, by rushing to close down the channels, seems to have lost all balance.
Pemra’s drastic step therefore is bad for the industry and PBA strongly condemns it. APNS: All Pakistan Newspaper Society (APNS) has expressed deep concern at an extraordinarily harsh decision by Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) for taking Din News Channel and Neo News Channel off air for airing a false news item involving a judge of the Honourable Supreme Court.
In a joint statement issued by President Mr Sarmad Ali and Secretary General Umer Mujib Shami, APNS said that the Honourable Supreme Court of Pakistan has already taken cognizance of the matter and the Channels have tendered their unconditional apologies in the Supreme Court for airing the news in question.
They have also publically retracted the said news and have pleaded before the court that the mistake was unintentional. In view of above PEMRA should withdraw t0the said notification and should wait for final decision by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in this matter.