Pakistan to overhaul media code of conduct

Rebecca Hawkes | 09 May 2014

Pakistan's media code of conduct is to be revised by a committee appointed by the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, under direction of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The committee's mandate is to remove ambiguities in the code of conduct and to devise an effective implementation mechanism, with a revised composition of the complaints commission, according to the Express Tribune.

Minister for Federal Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Pervaiz Rashid met with the president of Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA), the president of All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), the president of the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE), and PEMRA officials on 8 May to discuss the new code.

The government believes in freedom of expression and considers media as its partner in the development of the country, Pervaiz Rashid said, adding that a unanimously agreed code of conduct for media should be adopted and enforced with full consensus of all stakeholders.

Among the areas that need tightening include editorial control in electronic media and the empowerment the television Ombudsman, according to those attending the meeting.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Irfan Siddiqui will chair the new committee, with the next meeting to discuss feedback from the country's major media bodies scheduled for 19 May 2014.