Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) recently announced to ban reenactment programs of crime scenes from the beginning of Ramazan. While announcing his decision PEMRA Chairman Absar Alam said that the Authority had been receiving complaints from the viewers about telecast of murder, robbery, suicide incidents especially re-enactments of such criminal activities and programmes depicting violation of human rights granted in the Constitution. He further clarified that the ban would not affect the freedom of expression granted in Article 19 of the Constitution. PEMRA has been doing exemplary work since Absar Alam took charge amidst some criticism. The authority is very responsive to any genuine complaints from the public and takes immediate action. On many occasions in recent months certain TV Channels have been warned/fine after social media users lodged complaints with PEMRA, the quick action on complaints has not only put added responsibility on media houses but has also made it easy for the public to report any indecent or unethical material being aired on television screens. The new directions issued by the authority just before the Holy month of Ramazan will ensure that the sanctity of the Holy month is maintained. For long the argument that ‘media in Pakistan is in its early years and will learn with time’ was being peddled to put aside the concerns of public regarding airing of indecent/unethical material. The argument doesn’t hold water as instead of improving with time some of the content on the media was getting a bit out of hand. The strict policy being adopted by PEMRA was the need of the hour and is already showing its positive impact.
Over the past few months PEMRA has done some exemplary work.