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Private Channels Fined For Running Fake News

By Maryam Iraj

Islamabad High Court (IHC) Judge, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddique, has demanded a comprehensive report on the content telecast of various TV channels. The case adjourned till the next week.

A single-member bench heard the contempt of court case against the NAB chairman in Islamabad yesterday.

The court, during the hearing, remarked that the Indian content is being telecast on various TV channels and there is no editorial control being exercised. The IHC judge said, “all TV channels are equally involved in the crime.” It was further stated that broadcasting is a serious business and comes with a lot of social responsibility.

He further commented, “our cultural values and traditions are being destroyed and no one has concerns other than celebrating ‘Valentine Day’.”  The court sought a comprehensive report from PEMRA in this regard.

Meanwhile, PEMRA has given penalty to 17 news channels for airing fake news on April 16, 2018, that Lahore High Court had imposed the ban on airing speeches of Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz.

Penalty of paying the fine of of Rs. 1 million each has been imposed on channels including Royal News, Din News, Channel- 92, Dunya TV, Channel-5, AAJ TV, Express News, Roze TV, Samaa TV, Dawn News, ARY News, Waqt TV, Bol News, KTN News, Koh-e-Noor TV, Geo News, moreover, fine of Rs. 200,000 has been imposed on Mashriq TV for airing a ticker.

 

PEMRA had already issued show cause notices to the 17 channels on April 19, asking channel management to submit written replies and appear as well for personal hearing on April 24. After hearing the representatives of the channels and examining the subsequent written replies, it was determined that the channels had violated PEMRA Laws, Electronic Media (Programmes and Advertisements) Code of Conduct, 2015 and ignored the directives issued by the Authority on April 6, 2018, on a similar subject.

In addition to this, all the channels have also been directed to air apology during prime-time on May 6, 2018, for airing fake/false news and to deploy and/or properly utilize time-delay mechanism.

All these channels have also been directed to constitute “In-House Editorial Committees” in order to ensure that the accuracy and authenticity of the news is preserved.

In case of non-compliance with the decision and prescribed code of conduct, the Authority shall proceed against the channels for suspension/ revocation of the license under Section 30 of PEMRA Ordinance 2002 as amended by PEMRA (Amendment) Act 2007.

 

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