Govt to regulate web TV, social media and other media: Fawad


ISLAMABAD: Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Wednesday said that the government is bringing a framework to regulate web TV, social media, and other media.

He was addressing the launching ceremony of Medialab, a private sector venture aimed at identifying, supporting and accelerating early-stage innovative media start-up ideas focused on technology-based innovation in digital media and creating original content, or other digital media products.

He said that the use of modern digital technology was imperative for media advancement in the country yet local media houses lagged behind in using the latest technology.

He said that both electronic and print media should adopt a business model depending on market forces to reduce their dependence on government advertisements. He also said that the government had added digital media in advertisement tools and one-third of the government advertisements were being allocated to digital media.

Fawad said that he had asked Facebook to open its office in Pakistan and it was keen to do so.   He said that digital media market was expanding in the country but the problem was that money was going abroad and there was a need to tackle that issue.  He also said that newspapers were closing because the proprietors were unable to change with the passage of time. The advertisement scope for formal media was shrinking and shifting to digital media, he added.

The minister urged the media industry to initiate research to know the effects of digital media on the formal media. He said that the government had decided to transform the Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) into Digital Service of Pakistan.

The government was bringing a framework to regulate web TV, social media, and other media through one platform namely Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority (PMRA), he said, adding that one of the reasons behind the decision to constitute PMRA was that there was no remedy for the workers sacked by media houses.

He said that the previous government increased the media budget which added its dependence on public sector advertisements which disturbed the feasibility of many media houses.

He said that an Indian company had purchased a Pakistani drama serial for $450,000 which was a good omen for local drama industry. He also said that with the start of Pakistan Super League (PSL) this month a major chunk of advertisements would go to sports channels instead of news channels. He said that at a time when the government was unable to give subsidy to Hajj pilgrims, it would be impossible for it to take the burden of media and other businesses.0