NA panel to take up bill on protection of journalists

F.P. Report
ISLAMABAD: National Assembly Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting Thursday decided to take up bill regarding the protection of journalists in its next meeting.
The National Assembly panel on Information and Broadcasting meeting chaired by Javaria Zafar Aheer also called for a detailed briefing regarding killing of journalist Arshad Sharif in Kenya.Javaria Zafar said that no briefing had been given to the committee regarding Arshad Sharif’s murder.
The committee also condemned violence against journalists in Islamabad High Court.Javaria Zafar said that journalists were prevented from performing their professional duties by the police. Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb informed the committee that a meeting was held with the Ministry of Interior on the issue of violence against journalists in the Islamabad High Court.
She said that journalists were prevented from going to Islamabad High Court to perform their duties. Marriyum said that Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah has called for a report on the incident of violence against journalists.
Naz Baloch, MNA said legislation should be done so that journalists do not feel unsafe. She also said that the committee should also discuss the campaign against women journalists. Members of the committee expressed their concern over content against social values in dramas and TV commercials. Secretary Information and Broadcasting Shahera Shahid told the panel that every province had a Council of Complaints which were authorized to hear complaints.
She informed that there was no censor board for television dramas, censor board could censor only films. She said that since 1972, the fee for censoring a film was Rs 250 and now it was being increased to Rs 1000. She said it was the prerogative of the parliament to do legislation regarding censoring television dramas.
Chairperson of the committee, Javaria Zafar Aheer said that the content of dramas should be watched before their telecast. Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb said legislation would be done for censoring dramas telecast by television channels. Chairman Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority Salim Baig said that PEMRA had banned a private channel’s drama “Jalan” but they got stay order from a high court. He said that the PEMRA had filed an appeal in the Supreme Court which had reserved its verdict on the matter and it would be announced soon. The chairman said that PEMRA had banned 27 advertisements which were against social values but media houses got stay orders from the courts.