As a part of its crackdown on freedom of expression, the federal government is in search of broad new powers within the garb of the proposed Pakistan Media Growth Authority (PMDA), says Human Rights Watch (HRW).
“The federal government claims an ordinance establishing the Pakistan Media Development Authority (PMDA) would substitute the ‘fractured’ regulatory setting and fragmented media rules presently in place. The proposed PMDA would deliver all media in Pakistan – print, tv, radio, movies, and digital media – beneath one regulator,” HRW mentioned in its assertion.
The PMDA legislation would grant new unchecked powers to the government-controlled regulator by establishing particular “media tribunals” that may have the ability to impose steep fines for media organisations and journalists who violate its code of conduct or publish content material it deems to be “faux information”.
The proposed legislation would additionally improve authorities management by permitting authorities officers to be appointed to key positions.
With journalists beneath relentless assault for doing their jobs, the Pakistan authorities must cease making an attempt to manage reporters and as an alternative begin defending media freedom, added HRW.
Earlier this month, the representatives of media organisations rejected the proposed PMDA and termed the idea as an unconstitutional and draconian legislation in opposition to freedom of press and expression and a step towards imposing state management to control all segments of media beneath over-centralised physique.
The most important stakeholders imagine that the proposed PMDA is an try and tighten the federal government’s management over the media from one platform and ignores the truth that print, digital and social media are separate entities, every with their very own outlined options.