PEMRA stops crime glo­ri­fi­ca­tion

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIALS & COMMENTS -

Ftronic OLLOWING in­struc­tions of Se­nate stand­ing com­mit­tee, Pak­istan Elec

Me­dia Reg­u­la­tory Author­ity (PEMRA) has an­nounced com­plete ban on shows drama­tis­ing crimes such as rape, mur­der, rob­beries and sui­cide. Ad­dress­ing a news con­fer­ence the other day, Chair­man PEMRA Ab­sar Alam ex­pressed in cat­e­gor­i­cal terms that nei­ther chan­nels would be al­lowed to name rape or sui­cide vic­tims nor run the in­ter­views of their fam­ily mem­bers.

In re­cent times, th­ese un­eth­i­cal re-en­act­ment pro­grammes had be­come a per­ma­nent fea­ture of our news and en­ter­tain­ment chan­nels and the Chair­man PEMRA, who is a pro­fes­sional jour­nal­ist, has adopted the right path to check this dan­ger­ous trend as th­ese shows were not only en­tic­ing the youth to­wards crimes but ac­cord­ing to law en­force­ment agen­cies, sev­eral crim­i­nals had also con­fessed learn­ing new tac­tics through such pro­grammes. Sim­i­larly, the forced en­try of me­dia per­son­nel into pri­vate premises to dig-up some al­leged wrong­do­ing amounts to sheer vi­o­la­tion of law as such an ac­tion could only be un­der­taken by law en­force­ment agen­cies un­der a laid out pro­ce­dure. At times, th­ese re-en­act­ments sto­ries have been found breach­ing the very essence of dig­nity and good taste. All th­ese in­ci­dences clearly in­di­cate lack of pro­fes­sion­al­ism in our me­dia in­dus­try. Un­doubt­edly the mush­room growth of elec­tronic me­dia, which con­trib­uted pos­i­tively for the growth of so­ci­ety also cre­ated many is­sues, which needed to be ad­dressed forth­with. Take for in­stance, the glo­ri­fi­ca­tion of ter­ror­ist acts on the chan­nels and the time and space given to ter­ror­ists by tele­cast their mes­sages like claim­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity for a ter­ror at­tack and show­ing live footage of hor­rific scenes like blood soaked bod­ies es­pe­cially of women and chil­dren. Whilst the PEMRA has im­posed a ban on drama­ti­sa­tion of events, it is also in­cum­bent upon the me­dia in­dus­try to pur­sue the course of self reg­u­la­tion and im­prove jour­nal­is­tic stan­dards as to what should go on air and what should not. We are for me­dia re­forms and its ef­fec­tive util­i­sa­tion for the healthy growth of our so­ci­ety and the state.

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