Fawad urges media outlets to adopt self-imposed ethics


LAHORE: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Sunday said the credibility of media was fast diminishing and it must adopt self-imposed ethics to maintain the same.

Addressing the launch of a national daily at the auditorium of a private university here, the minister said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) did not support censorship of media as soon after assuming power, its government had even freed the state media.

It was a state loss if the media lost its credibility due to occasional irresponsible reporting, he added.

The minister said the media must understand the sensitivity of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and should not give a twist to the statement of a minister about the project.

A national newspaper, he said, had published a false story regarding Aasia Bibi.

About the professional bankruptcy, he said the state media, including Pakistan television (PTV), Radio Pakistan and Associated Press of Pakistan (APP), were in a state disarray, and a lot of efforts and resources were required to revive them.

Lambasting the past governments for destroying civilian departments, he said inductions were made in the departments ignoring merit. It was very easy for him to make recruitments in the subordinate state departments to oblige his political workers but it would destroy the institutions, he added.

The minister said the Pakistan Army was the only institution, which had kept its departments intact but all the civilian institutions were in a shambles.

Talking about discrimination in the distribution of development funds, besides advertisements to the media by the previous government, he said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz had spent Rs 70,000 per capita in Lahore against Rs 2,400 per capita in Rajanpur.

The minister said a Media Regulatory Authority (MRA) was being set up for the betterment of media industry, revival of state media and welfare of common media-workers.

It was time to replace Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority, Press Council and Pakistan Telecom Authority with one Media Regulatory Authority, which would also monitor the social media besides being a check on piracy.

With the advent of digital media, traditional media was fast becoming redundant, he added.

Fawad said the government was against its monopoly on the state advertisements. The All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) and Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) had been asked to propose a formula under which the government’s control could be abolished in the distribution of state advertisements- a tool, employed in the past, to control media, he added.

He said the media houses must generate their own funds otherwise they would never be free from state’s control.

The minister also called upon the owners of media houses and the media-persons to understand their responsibility and play their due role in improving the credibility of media.