PEMRA bans the coverage of terror attacks on TV. The notification was issued on Monday by Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority. The directions come in continuation of the earlier orders on the subject asking TV channels to adhere to provisions of the PEMRA Electronic Media Code of Conduct 2015.
The notification issued by PEMRA read: “It has been observed with grave concern that despite repeated directives satellite TV channels are unable to comply with provisions of Electronic Media Code of Conduct-2015 in letter and spirit.”
PEMRA noted that TV channels compromise reporting ethics during the time of terror attacks. They resort to the marathon, only to take lead and credit for breaking the news first and airing the “airing live images of the crime scene”.
“Satellite TV channels and their staff is found ambivalent of not only their security but also create hurdles in rescue as well as combat operations,” PEMRA stated.
The statement further read that information shared in these situations is often unverified speculative without consulting security agencies present on the spot”.
“Such reporting hence creates panic and unwarranted chaos among the viewers not only in the country but also Pakistanis living abroad,” the notification read.
PEMRA also mentioned that reporting such incidents gives benefits to terrorists for “using media as the forum of political advertising” and serves their ideological purposes by “publicizing their campaign”.
“Moreover, media coverage of such incidents also gives terrorists an organizational advantage by allowing a specific group to exhibit its strength and audaciousness in comparison with its rivals,” the watchdog directive stated.
PEMRA’s order come in the aftermath of the terror attack on the Karachi Police Chief Office last Friday on the city’s busiest road, Shahrah-e-Faisal. Earlier, a deadly terror attack in a mosque in Peshawar claimed the lives of over 72 people and injured 150 on January 30.