Media Freedom

2018-09-07T23:29:55+05:00

The polity, Pakistani in particular, has a very unique quality of prioritising its issues - the main ones on our list seem to be closely linked to moral policing of the country. The recent statements by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) regarding the nature of the content goes to show how unwilling the authorities are to even bring up topics that are considered taboo and the preference is more towards showing everything as plain and good in the country. Under such circumstances, the frenzy regarding the censorship of media was bound to happen.

However, the ruling party - Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) - have taken the stance of not introducing any new laws related to the media without the involvement of the institution itself. This is an important step in understanding how the media bodies in this country function and whether or not the system requires any reforms. Involvement at this point is the right strategy instead of isolating the institutions of the country and enforcing laws on them. This not only suffocates the working space of the organisation but also creates a distaste between the government and the organisation.

While the step itself must be commended, it should also be brought to attention that this involvement should be more than just words. Allowing a body a platform to voice its concerns does not mean that they will be taken into account. A thorough procedure needs to be followed to ensure that the personal biases of the lawmakers are not reflected in the decision making process. Censorship beyond the recommended framework only limits the growth of the medium and that is an aspect which cannot be forgone while making laws.

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