PEMRA lays down guidelines for Ramazan transmissions

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The holy month of Ramadan is almost upon us. Every year, tv channels air shows during this month, aimed at promoting the teachings of Islam. Most start preparing shows in advance. In order to facilitate these channels, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has announced certain rules and regulations pertaining to Ramazan transmissions.

Serving Wrong Purposes

In recent years, according to PEMRA, these Ramazan programmes have helped increase the ratings for the tv channels. This has also led to a rise in the number of complaints sent in by viewers.

They say that in their race to achieve higher ratings and views than their competitors, channels write and create programs that go in the opposite direction of the spirit of Ramazan. Not only do these programmes destroy the concept of religious ethics and morals, they also promote sectarianism. This also spreads discord and chaos in the society.

Lack of Proper Scripts

PEMRA has received additional complaints that the programmes during the Ramadan transmission do not have a written script for the sole purpose of increasing revenues. These programmes are also televised without supervision.

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Considering these complaints and problems noticed by PEMRA themselves, some of the instructions have been issued by the media watchdog. The point PEMRA raises a point that the purpose of these transmissions is to make people aware of the sanctity of Ramazan instead of cashing the holy month for their ratings.

Hinting at Amir Liaquat’s stunt of ‘giving away’ babies to people for adoption at his show, the authority explicitly forbids the practice. The notification says poor people can not be used for showing off charity feats as it hurts people’s self-esteem, which goes against the spirit of the Islamic charity. There should be a clear difference between normal transmissions and Ramazan transmissions, it says. People with proper knowledge of religious affairs must be invited on the shows and there should be a proper standard for discussions and dialogue. No entertainment programme can on air during the daytime in Ramzan with an exception of after 9 pm, while in the last 10 days of the month it applies without any exception.

The PEMRA directs all Ramazan transmissions to follow Electronic Media Code of Conduct 2015, forbidding discussion of such topics which might promote sectarianism. The licence holder will make sure that his tv channel does not propagate anything against founding fathers of Pakistan, judiciary, army, democracy along with seduction.

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