Unified media regulatory authority

MINISTER for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhary seems to be on right track as far as streamlining of working of media relation entities and departments under the administrative control of his ministry is concerned. On Wednesday, he made several important announcements in this regard, which have the potential to increase efficiency of these organisations besides leading to saving of precious financial resources.
The creation of a unified Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority through merger of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) and Press Council has widely been hailed by all stakeholders. The proposed body would look after issues not just related to print and electronic media but also social media, which are becoming powerful weapon in the realm of dissemination of information. Presently, PEMRA is looking after electronic media, Press Council oversees print media and services of FIA and Cyber Wings of different institutions are sought for complaints and issues relating to social media. It is quite obvious that government would need to go for fresh legislation for setting up of the proposed Authority and we would recommend that while doing so every effort should be made to strengthen it in different ways and make it more autonomous. It should have highly qualified manpower capable of utilising the latest technology to perform its functions as per aspirations of the people.
Similarly, in a welcome development, the Information Minister also announced formation of joint Board of Directors of PTV and PBC besides amalgamation of their training academies and their upgradation to a Media University. We have been hearing since long about establishment of such a dedicated university but the idea has remained just a dream because of inaction on part of officials concerned. PBC and PTV have necessary resources and expertise to run such a university on professional lines for education and training of manpower for their own needs as well as other media organisations in the country. The proposal for live telecast of Parliament proceedings, its committees and provincial assemblies would also help inculcate sense of responsibility and maturity among elected representatives in the backdrop of care free attitude of majority of them.

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