Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) is a regulatory body established by Pakistan on 1 March 2002.

Contents

Functions of the Authority

The Authority is responsible for facilitating and regulating the establishment and operation of all private broadcast media and distribution services in Pakistan established for the purpose of international, national, provincial, district, and local or special target audiences.

PEMRA's Mandate

  • Improve the standards of information, education, and entertainment.
  • Enlarge the choice available to the people of Pakistan in the media for news, current affairs, religious knowledge, art, culture, science, technology, economic development, social sector concerns, music, sports, drama, and other subjects of public and national interest.
  • Facilitate the devolution of responsibility and power to the grass roots by improving the access of the people to mass media at the local and community level.
  • Ensure accountability, transparency, and good governance by optimizing the free flow of information.

A word from the Chairman

Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has entered into 10th year of its existence. It is indeed a privilege to work for the organization which has done a tremendous service to the country for promotion of free media through induction of private sector in a big way on merit. The electronic media which once was in shackles of the government control is absolutely free paralleled with any other democratic country. A great number of television channels and radio stations have been allowed in the country which offers diversified choice to the people for access to current affairs, education and entertainment.

The change in social, cultural and political makeup of the society brought in by the media is evident from the fact that even an ordinary person living in a far-flung area having previously no access to the information is presently as much abreast with the current political and economic developments taking place at the regional, national and international level as a person living in a highly urbanized city. This level of awareness in the society of socio political economic rights is mainly due to massive growth of electronic media. All the civilized societies believe that freedom of speech and expression needs to be exercised in such a fashion that sentiments of any segment of the society are not hurt. This applies not only to our own society but also to the international community. The rights and privileges of vulnerable classes of the society such as women and minorities should be respected and protected at all costs. Fabric of social and religious harmony in the society has to be kept intact.

I am confident that with the support of the democratic government and maturity of the media industry in place on the learning curve, we will have self-regulatory regime very soon to reach these noble goals. Above all, I am grateful to the honorable Minister for Information and Broadcasting for his confidence entrusted upon me that is my bastion and fills me with enough confidence to let me discharge my duties with a greater sense of honesty and fairness. I am full of hope that in days to come the organization would excel further through reaching more and more milestones of the success and glory. I also pray that PEMRA keeps its reputation intact as one of the vibrant and progressive organizations of the country.

An Overview of Electronic Media Development in the country

The journey of electronic media development in the country begins from 14 August 1947, when Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation was formed after independence. At independence Pakistan possessed three radio stations at Dhaka, Lahore & Peshawar. A major programme of expansion witnessed new stations opened at Karachi and Rawalpindi in 1948 and a new broadcasting house at Karachi in 1950. This was followed by further stations at Hyderabad (1951), Quetta (1956), a second station at Rawalpindi (1960) and a receiving centre at Peshawar (1960). In October 1998, radio Pakistan started its first FM transmission.The decision to establish a general purpose television service in Pakistan under the general supervision of the government of Pakistan (GOP) was taken in October 1963. Subsequently, the government signed an agreement with the Nippon Electronic Company (NEC) of Japan, allowing it to operate two pilot TV stations in the country. The first of these stations went on air in Lahore on 26 November 1964. On the completion of the experimental phase, a private limited company, called Television Promoters Limited was set up in 1965 which was converted into a public limited company in 1967. Further television centres were established in Karachi and Rawalpindi / Islamabad in 1967 and in Peshawar and Quetta in 1974.

Since its inception in Pakistan, electronic media in the country remained in government control till 1990, when Shalimar Television Network (STN) and Network Television Marketing (NTM) signed a contract to launch Pakistan’s first private sector TV channel. During mid 90s, a growing demand for television entertainment in Pakistan paved way to foreign TV channels through satellite dishes. In the beginning, the phenomenon of having a dish TV was restricted to the urban elite. However, satellite dish became a commodity item with penetration across the various socio-economic classes of Pakistani population. Simultaneously, successive governments in the country adopted more liberal media policies by providing masses with the enhanced access to information, education, and entertainment by encouraging public private participation.In such environment, there was a need to have an effective regulatory framework which could advance freedom of speech and expression, and access of people to information while keeping in mind the larger interests of the state.

Chairmen of the Authority

  • Mian Javed (Founding Chairman)
  • Mr. Iftikhar Rashid (2nd Chairman)
  • Mr.Mushtaq Malik (3rd Chairman)
  • Dr. Abdul Jabbar (Acting Chairman)

See also

References

External links


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