Use of modern digital technology imperative for media advancement: Fawad


ISLAMABAD, Feb 6 (APP):Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain here Wednesday said 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 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 both the electronic and print media should adopt a business model depending on market forces to reduce their dependence on the government advertisements.
He said the government had added digital media in advertisement tools and one-third of the government advertisements were being allocated to digital media.
Chaudhry Fawad said he had asked Facebook to open its office in Pakistan and it was keen to do so.
He said 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 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 effects of digital media on the formal media. He said the government had decided to transform the Associated Press of Pakistan into Digital Service of Pakistan.
The government was bringing a framework to regulate web TV, social media, and other medias 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 dollars which was a good omen for local drama industry.
He said that with the start of Pakistan Super League this month a major chunk of advertisements would go to sports channels instead of news channels.
He said at a time when the government was unable to give subsidy to Hajj pilgrims, it would be impossible for it to take burden of media and other businesses.
Later, talking to media informally, he said that as soon as the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) personnel informed senior Punjab Minister Aleem Khan about his arrest, he immediately sent his resignation to the chief minister, which was manifestation of culture difference between Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf and other political parties.
He said that the opposition used to claim that NAB did not arrest anybody from the government side, but now what excuse would it have after the arrest of Aleem Khan. The PTI fully supported the process of accountability and it stood by the national institutions as the strengthening of institutions would strengthen Pakistan, he added.
To a question about issuance of NAB notice to former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, he said that NAB was doing its job and the government had nothing to do with it.