No room for unprofessional reporting
PEMRA Authority Meeting on the recommendations of the PEMRA committee has imposed Rs1 million fine on each of those national TV channels which aired fake news of Gulberg blast on February 23, 2017.
Similarly, Rs500,000 fine has been imposed on each regional TV channel found guilty of doing so. The decision was taken in the 126th Authority Meeting of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) held at PEMRA Headquarters on Friday.
The Authority also directed the management of all the 29 TV channels to air apology on their screens on 6th March 2017 at 6:00pm in the same manner and magnitude as the fake news was aired. Besides tickers/scroll pertaining to apology shall also be aired from 6:00pm to 7:00pm during the regular transmission of the Channel. The text of the apology is also given to these TV channels for compliance.
The national news and current affairs channels which aired fake news of bomb blast in Gulberg, Lahore are namely Samaa TV, Dawn News, Channel-5, 7 News, Din News, Capital TV, BOL News, News One, AbbTakk, Roze TV, K-21, Jaag TV, Waqt TV, Channel-92, Express News, Sach TV, Channel-24, Lahore News, Metro One, Geo News, Duniya TV, ARY News, NEO TV and Koh-e-Noor. The regional news and current affairs channels which aired fake news are namely KTN News, Sindh TV News, Khyber News, Awaz TV and Mehran TV. The Authority members expressed their determination on taking strict action against any unprofessional practice by the TV channels. The Authority also asked the Ministry of Information and broadcasting to look into the complaints against PTV on airing of fake news. PEMRA had received a number of complaints against PTV but PTV does not come under PEMRA.
PEMRA had issued show cause notices to these TV channels and also gave an opportunity of hearing and directed them to explain why they had aired the unverified news causing panic among people. On March 2, 2017, the TV channels submitted their reply. During the personal hearing, majority of the representatives from TV channels admitted that they had simply picked the story from other channels. The Authority meeting was presided over by PEMRA Chairman, Mr. AbsarAlam and attended by FBR Chairman, Dr Muhammad Irshad, Member KP, Ms. ShaheenHabibullah, Member Punjab, Ms. Nargis Nasir and senior officials of PEMRA.