In consideration of the directives issued by the Islamabad High Court, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority—PEMRA has barred news anchors from appearing as experts in the TV talk shows.
As per the issued notification on Sunday the media persons, instead of appearing as experts on their news channels or others, should focus on their roles of being a moderator.
According to the PEMRA code of conduct, the role of anchorpersons is to moderate the programs in an objective, impartial and unbiased manner, excluding themselves, from their personal biases, judgments or opinions on any issue. Hence, the anchors hosting regular shows should not appear in talk shows neither on their own nor on other channels as an expert on some subject matter.
The media regulatory authority has also asked the news channels to choose their guests carefully as per their knowledge and expertise on a particular subject.
The notification has been issued in the light of the IHC’s orders on the 26th of October when the Chief Justice—Athar Minallah scolded 5 leading anchors for discussing the mala fide information.
The court also reproached PEMRA for not monitoring the TV channels actively and letting the news channels malign the judiciary during live shows and misguiding the general public.
PEMRA has responded that it had been giving out notices to many media persons and had even suspended the services of some channels for breaking the rules. But these steps were taken as media controls imposed by the government.
The regulatory authority has banned the channels with immediate effect to avoid telecasting live shows.