The Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage has announced formal notice for changes in the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority Rules, 2009 which have directed all TV Channels from airing any kind of hate speech in their programming content.
The Supreme Court has directed authority to PEMRA for the issuance of a code of conduct for the media which will be put to immediate effect.
The notification clearly states that “Licensee shall ensure that hate speech by any of its employees or any guest in a programme is not aired. Hate speech includes any expression that may incite violence, hatred or discrimination on the basis of religion, ethnicity, colour, race, gender, origin, caste, mental or physical disability.”
There are 24 clear-cut points in the notification which urge the media against airing content which goes against the ideology of Pakistan or is offensive towards the founding fathers of the nation, material which is anti-Islamic or offensive towards Islamic morals and values is also to be not broadcasted.
Other pointers in the notification include detailed instructions regarding the airing of live transmissions, Privacy and personal data protection, Religious tolerance and harmony, Coverage of incidents of accidents, violence and crime, Re-enactment of real-life events, news and current affairs programming. Additionally, there were guidelines for advertisers and advertising content that shall be aired.