Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb says Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) Amendment Bill 2023 has been prepared to protect the rights of media workers and lay the foundation of a responsible media.
Addressing a news conference in Islamabad on Saturday, she said the bill laid in the National Assembly the other day was crafted after detailed consultations of eleven months with the relevant stakeholders and keeping in view the best international practices. She said it is not the government's bill but that of the media and the people of Pakistan.
She pointed out that at present one hundred and forty channels of variant nature including that of news and current affairs, entertainment, health and agriculture, education and specialized subjects are operating in the country. She said this diversification in media necessitated the preparation of the bill.
Marriyum Aurangzeb said the bill differentiates between misinformation and disinformation. She said this has been done after studying the relevant laws of various countries including that of the European Union, UK, Malaysia, India and others. She said the bill envisages a complete mechanism to determine between misinformation and disinformation.
The Information Minister said it is the first time that content of Children and timely payment of salaries, not later than two months, has been added to the bill's preamble. She said it is also the first time that media stakeholders have been given representation in the PEMRA.
The Information Minister said, under the bill, the working journalists can now also lodge complaints with the Council of Complaints on any issue faced by them.