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HomeNationalPEMRA acts against TV channel for ‘demeaning’ remarks against Murad Saeed

PEMRA acts against TV channel for ‘demeaning’ remarks against Murad Saeed

TV channel’s talk show implied communications minister received award for top performing ministry due to factors other than his performance

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) on Friday has given a show-cause notice to local TV channel “News One” for broadcasting, what it said were, “derogatory/demeaning remarks” about Federal Communications Minister Murad Saeed “without any editorial check” in a talk show programme.

Saeed received special praise by Prime Minister Imran Khan for the performance of his Communications Ministry, which was ranked first in an award ceremony on Thursday. The event celebrated the top 10 best performing federal ministries of the country.

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According to the notice, the channel had aired a talk show in which the anchor and guests raised questions regarding the award for Saeed. They made several remarks which implied other factors were responsible for the award rather than the performance of the ministry.

PEMRA said these remarks were aired without any editorial control or time delay adding that they raised several questions about the channel’s editorial policy. It added that these comments violated the Pemra Ordinance 2002 as (Amendment) Act, 2007; several clauses of the Electronic Media Code of Conduct, 2015 and the orders of the Supreme Court in a 2018 suo moto case.

The authority then ordered the channel’s CEO to respond in writing within the span of four days as to why legal actions should not be initiated against the institution. The notice warned that “In case of non-compliance, ex-parte legal action shall be taken against the licensee in accordance with relevant provisions of PEMRA Laws.”

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