Convergence of laws to help improve media quality

Convergence of laws to help improve media quality

LAHORE, Sep 10 (APP):Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhary Fawad Hussain has said it is highly important to converge laws and provide one window operation to the media persons.

He said this in his online participation in a dialogue held on the draft of Pakistan Media Development Authority (PMDA) at a local hotel on Friday.

The virtual dialogue was organized by Pakistan Journalist Foundation (PJF). The minister said that there were seven laws in the country which were regulating media. Convergence of laws would help in improving the quality of the media, he added.

He said, “If we talk about implementation of laws, Press Council in last two years had decided only two complaints and they could not implement their decisions in this regard.”

He said that the ordinance which government would introduce was of civil nature in which there was no punishment but fines adding that fine for an individual would be of Rs 100 million and Rs 200 million for an organization. He further said that implementation would be done by two tribunals.

Chaudhary Fawad Hussain said, “One is media commission and it will be in ten big cities of the country and there will be five members of the commission.” He said that media commission would make appointments while the second commission would constitute media tribunals.

He said that rights of electronic media workers were not protected and added that half of the media houses were getting services of workers without contract and in half of media houses workers were not getting salaries. He said that government wanted to evolve a mechanism so that such issues could be settled.

Later, the participants including Zulfiqar Rahat, Ahmed Iqbal Baloch, Shakeel Anjum, Khalid Qayyum, Salman Abid, Qazi Saeed and others stressed upon the need of holding debate on draft of PMDA among the stakeholders to get their input in this regard.

They said that freedom of press and protection of the rights of journalists and media workers was of utmost importance.

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