Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan has directed the government to reimburse the dues of the media after successive reports of lay off of employees due to lack of payment. This order has been issued because media houses laying off employees means that many individuals will be left without a livelihood and that is directly against the government’s agenda of human development and the recent launch of the poverty reduction initiative. The move should be commended because organisations have faced a very difficult period, working under pressure with employees severely dependent on government funds. Both federal and provincial governments must be alerted to take swift action to facilitate the order.

The new government was trying to make government advertisements more informational rather than tools for political agenda, as they have accused previous governments of politicising advertisements too. And they aim to create a more rational and balanced approach to featuring government advertisements. However the lack of government funding has impacted several organisations and they have had to let their workers go. Once again, reforms can only be adopted if the relevant stakeholders are on board with the idea and it does not affect their working. At this point, there are feelings of resentment in the workers who are let go and that can only be overcome by swift payment and the guarantee that reforms will not take away their livelihood.

The plan to end state control over media advertisements is a step in the right direction and it can be achieved if the government comes up with a sound advertisement policy which ensures transparency. The framework can be developed efficiently with the input of the stakeholders. This coupled with the modernisation of the revenue generation sources of media houses can improve the outlook of these organisations, develop trust on both sides, and pave the way for an advanced industry.