Pakistan orders news channels to toe the line, bans from covering terror attacks
Pakistan's TV media regulator on Wednesday banned the country's news channels from broadcasting terrorist attacks. The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) announced the ban by adding that media channels will air the information as may be "warranted by the security agency in charge of the operation", indicating that media channels won't be able to operate as per their free will during situations of conflict adding up as terror attacks. The directives came days after an earlier order urging TV channels to adhere to the Electronic Media Code of Conduct 2015.
"During any ongoing rescue or security operation, identity and number of victims or other important information shall not be revealed unless the same is warranted by the rescue or security agency incharge of the operation," the body said in its order.
The regulatory body claimed that despite repeated directives satellite TV channels are "unable to comply with provisions of the Electronic Media Code of Conduct-2015 in letter and spirit." The regulatory body further justified the move by saying that news channels go for speedy transmission of terrorist attacks by ignoring basic journalistic norms and ethics in order to "take lead" and "credit" for breaking the news first.