Media Blackout: All news channels go off air in Pakistan on PEMRA orders

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PEMRA has banned media coverage of the Faizabad operation as situation turned violent

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As situation turned violent, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) ordered to shut down transmission of all news channels as the crackdown against the protestors staging sit-in at Faizabad interchange has sparked countrywide protests. Some reports claim Tv channels in Faisalabad have also gone off air.

Currently, all news channels are blocked in Islamabad to prevent the live coverage of the security operation that began after 20 days of protest.

ARY News is claiming that Shahid Khaqaan Abbasi, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, has asked PEMRA to put off-air all TV channels in Pakistan.

pemra noticeAccording to a circular issued by PEMRA on Saturday, the “live coverage of any security operation is prohibited, therefore all Satellite TV channels licenses are directed to exhibit utmost sensitivity over the matter and comply with Clause 8(8) of Electronic Media (Programmes and Advertisements) Code of Conduct 2015, in letter and spirit and refrain from live coverage of the ongoing operation at Faizabad, Islamabad.”

It further states that “media houses are also requested to ensure safety and security of their field staff. In this regard, camera crews and reporters should not go beyond the point as identified by the Incharge of the operation and ensure cooperation with law enforcement agencies. In case of any kind of violation observed/reported, strict action under the relevant provisions of the PEMRA laws shall be initiated.”

According to the latest news, a  policeman was martyred and 100 other people including policemen were injured and being shifted to different hospital after the crackdown was launched at Faizabad Interchange.

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Reaction on social media:

Many people are in support of the media ban, saying that the live coverage of a sensitive issue will only create chaos and incite religious-minded people in other cities.

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Meanwhile, many Pakistanis are against the media blackout, urging that information must go out and people have a right to be aware of the current situation through media.

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Mediapersons, especially TV journalists, agree that Pakistani news channels are somewhat responsible for the ban because of misleading reporting.

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