Islamabad - Emphasising the need for developing independent media business models, President Arif Alvi has said that sustaining of media business should be based on self-reliance, rather than depending on government advertisements.

Addressing a gathering here on Friday, the president said media freedom is a fundamental right but it should be exercised with responsibility and self-regulation, rather than censorship by authorities.

He said media, being fourth pillar of the state, is playing a crucial role in strengthening of democratic culture and values and is disposing its responsibility of informing, educating and entertaining the masses professionally and responsibly.  

He said print media is facing multitude of challenges in current times including the one posed by social media.

Dr Arif Alvi said the younger generation is hooked more to the social media, than print publications. The President, however, said opinion makers still rely on print media for opinion making.

Addressing Pakistan Media Convention, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhary urged the media to pursue the narrative that is in the country’s economic interests.

He said the media sustainability is also linked with the economic sustainability of the country.

The Information Minister said foreign investment of billions of rupees is pouring into the country with Saudi Arabia setting up the third largest oil refinery in Pakistan but the media has not given due coverage to it.

He said China Pakistan Economic Corridor project is a backbone for our economy. He however regretted that our media sometimes buys the western narrative which is anti CPEC and anti Pak-China relations.

Information Minister said we believe in openness and are doing away with visa restrictions for the citizens of sixty six countries.

He said the media at this juncture should stand by the economy.

Referring to the problems of the media industry, the Information Minister said advertisements worth 300 to 350 million rupees were issued to the print media during the current month.

He said we fully stand shoulder to shoulder with the media workers and extend full support to them. However, ultimately the media will have to emerge as a sustainable model ending dependence on the government.