- Acting PM says media should generate money itself.
- The media body says the federal government owes newspapers about Rs 2 billion.
- The media achieved independence through a long struggle and many sacrifices.
ISLAMABAD: The All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE), and the Parliamentary Reporters Association of Pakistan (PRAP) all expressed dismay over caretaker Prime Minister Anwar-ul-Haq Kakkar’s comments regarding the print media. Expressed. week, The News reported on Thursday, citing separate statements by Modi.
Responding to a question regarding the Information Ministry’s pending summary of the increase in government advertising rates, the Prime Minister said the print media should change its flawed business model and generate money on its own rather than relying on government support. .
APNS said the Prime Minister appears to have been misinformed about the issue because print media do not seek government grants or subsidies; Rather, newspapers run government advertisements at low cost.
APNS said government advertising rates are much lower than commercial – about one-fourth commercial rates – after outgoing Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had announced a long-pending increase in government advertising rates, the summary of which is still pending with the Finance Ministry. It is lying nearby.
APNS said that what is worrying is that the federal government owes about Rs 2 billion in payment of long outstanding bills of newspapers.
APNS said that if the respected Prime Minister feels that this business model is flawed, then the print media is ready to correct the flawed model by withdrawing these concessional rates being given to the government by the newspapers.
The Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) expressed surprise at the inadequate information available to the acting PM as he linked media freedom to government advertising.
CPNE said that PM Kakkar has been given misleading information about the media.
CPNE said that, as per the PM’s statement, the media will have to fight for their freedom and this fight will be done with their money.
It said that newspapers and magazines never demanded personal funds, but every government and every institution is obliged to the media for publicity.
According to CPNE, the fund created for advertisements is not the money of any ruler, but it is the money of the taxpayers which should be distributed appropriately towards the advertisements.
It states that governments nowhere in the world do business, do not control advertising and do not take sides with newspapers and magazines regarding editorial matters.
CPNE said that the media has not handed over its independence to the beggar’s bowl, as it has achieved it through a long struggle with many sacrifices.
In a meeting with the Prime Minister on October 12 (Thursday), the organization’s Standing Committee had made it clear that it had no objection to the distribution of advertisements, but wanted the implementation of the previous government’s promise to increase the rate and clearance of advertisements. Dues pending for years
Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Reporters Association of Pakistan (PRAP) termed the treatment of media representatives during PM Kakkar’s press conference as an act of authoritarianism.
PRAP Chairman Usman Khan and Secretary Naveed Akbar Choudhary, along with other officials, expressed concern over the abusive treatment of media representatives during the question-answer session at the press conference.
He said the PRAP believed the Prime Minister’s behavior at the press conference was disrespectful.
PRAP said that instead of talking about the performance of his caretaker government, the Prime Minister tried to deliver a lecture by unnecessarily criticizing media representatives.
Such behavior is not appropriate for such an important post, he said, adding that the Prime Minister should not blame the incompetence of his official media team.
He criticized the Information Minister for ordering some media representatives not to enter the Prime Minister’s residence. The PRAP said it would walk out of the Senate against the Prime Minister’s behaviour.