SPEAKING in the National Assembly on Monday, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain announced the digitalization plan for the state media including PTV, Radio Pakistan and Associated Press of Pakistan (APP).
He said the PTV will become HD whilst Radio Pakistan will also go digital in the month of August this year.
As for APP, he said it will be made a digital media news agency on the pattern of Reuters and the AFP.
Just like any other institution in the country, these state media outlets present a sorry state of affairs because of the neglect of successive governments.
These were used by the sitting governments as their mouthpiece but nothing concrete was done to improve them.
The result is that today the transmission of Radio Pakistan is not available even within cities because of outdated and dead transmitters.
And PTV, despite a big lot of producers, is also relying on the private production, mainly because the political appointees of the past are not capable enough to produce anything worthwhile.
In this backdrop, the Information Minister really deserves appreciation for coming up with a plan to revive the past glory of these institutions which always played a pivotal role in promoting the national narrative. There must not be any further delay in the execution of digitalization plan.
When one looks towards neighbouring India, there has been massive investment on spreading the network and digitalization of All India Radio by their government.
The Indian Government continues to use the medium of Radio for propaganda against Pakistan.
By digitalization of Radio Pakistan and better programming, we will be able to better counter the Indian narrative which is based on lies and falsehood.
Professionals must be inducted in the PTV Home for producing the dramas that really were once the hallmark of this Channel. Similarly, APP should be equipped in such a manner that it could also cater to the requirements of news channels.
The government must also pay immediate attention towards addressing the financial woes of the state media as only a satisfied employee can deliver to the best of his abilities and capabilities.