Code of conduct ready for TV channels

Information Ministry asked to implement Siddqui-led committee’s conduct for electronic media houses

ISLAMABAD – The Senate's Standing Committee on Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage on Friday asked the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to implement the code of conduct for satellite television channels prepared by the committee headed by Prime Minister's Adviser on National Affairs Irfan Siddqui.

The committee, which met here with Senator Kamil Ali Agha in the chair, appreciated the announcement by Information Secretary Dr Nazir Saeed that the code of conduct had been finalized, which would be presented before the committee. Earlier, the committee members observed that the matter was pending for many years and there was need to implement the code of conduct as early as possible.

They noted that certain media outlets were violating Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) rules regarding broadcast of foreign content and the authority should fully exercise its powers and take strict action against the violators. The members asked acting PEMRA Chairman Pervez Rathor to look into the matter as the content violations were ruining the next generation.

The committee also recommended that the government should appoint a permanent chairman of the PEMRA. The committee also directed that all television channels, including the Pakistan Television, should start special programmes for children and women, and also spare time for public service messages. It said that the Press Information Department should prepare public service messages which should be forwarded to the channels for the telecast.

Regarding the issue of Rizwana Khan, ex-news reader and music producer of the Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation, the secretary said the matter had been resolved amicably and a report would be presented to the committee in a few days. The committee directed the PEMRA and Frequency Allocation Board to issue the license of non-commercial FM radio channel to Balochistan University.

Senators Farhatullah Babar, Daud Achakzai, Zafar Ali Shah, Qayyum Soomro, Farha Aqil and Rubina Khalid attended the meeting. Radio Pakistan Director General Samina Parvez and managing directors of PTV Muhammad Mallick and Associated Press of Pakistan Nuzhat Yasmeem were also present in the meeting.

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