Digital Migration Policy

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THERE are several institutions in our country which present a pathetic condition today due to sheer negligence of successive governments to revive them. Once amongst them is Radio Pakistan. It is called “voice of the nation” which always played an important role in national security as well as providing early information to people faced with any calamity but today it is struggling to reach out to the people because of the outdated technology it is still employing for transmission.
The same concerns were expressed by the Senate’s Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting at its meeting on Monday but it is time to go beyond mere lip service to taking practical steps to transform important institutions such as Radio Pakistan. Officials of Radio Pakistan told the Committee that a Digital Migration policy has been prepared to shift the national broadcaster from analogue to digital. This important project to be completed in three phases will cost four billion rupees. Given the importance of Radio Pakistan and the role it can play to promote the national narrative and counter the propaganda from both the eastern and western borders, it is important the government fully supports the organization to implement this project at the earliest as this will enable the organization to revive its old glory of reaching out not only to the one hundred population in the country but also across the borders. The government can also effectively use this medium to articulate and convey its people friendly policies to the masses. Especially the transmission of Radio Pakistan can prove to be important in areas such as tribal districts and Balochistan where due to religious sensitivities, the people still rely heavily on the information provided by Radio Pakistan. By ensuring better transmission and content quality, the organization can also significantly increase its revenue by getting due share in the advertisements. We are confident that the incumbent DG Radio Pakistan, Samina Waqar, who has a rich experience in the field, will fully utilize her experience to, at least, put the organization on the path of revival. The idea of merging the Boards of both PTV and Radio Pakistan may face some impediments but is a step in the right direction to improve the performance of the state media. The merger should enable both the organizations to better benefit from each other’s physical and human resources.

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