ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) has issued guidelines for media coverage of general elections, scheduled for February 8, 2024, the country, ARY News reported on Friday.
“To strengthen the democracy and electoral process, it is national obligation of all the citizens of Pakistan and institutions to extent utmost support and facilitation for conducting free, fair and transparent elections,” the electronic media regulator said in an advisory issued today.
The PEMRA asked all the “licensees to be mindful of the fact that no such content is aired which may create doubts in the minds of general public about conduct of general elections 2024 or sabotage elections through any negative/false news, information or report”.
“Airing of any such news/content would be deemed in violation of PEMRA Laws including the Code of Conduct 2015 in general and specially provisions,” it warned.
The regulator also asked the media houses to ensure that news, current affairs or documentary programmes shall present information in an “accurate and fair manner”.
“Any political or analytical programme, whether in the form of a talk show or otherwise, shall be conducted objectively ensuring representation of the concerned parties,” it added.
In talk shows or other similar programmes, the PEMRA said, the TV channels should ensure that the programme is conducted in an objective and unbiased manner.
“No licensee shall broadcast any live programme unless there is an effective delay mechanism put in place to ensure effective monitoring and editorial control in conformity with this Code,” it added.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) notified general elections on February 8, 2024. The electoral watchdog issued a notification of the date of the general election under Section 57 of the Election Act۔
The notification said that in light of the Supreme Court’s order, the general elections will take place on February 8, 2024.
The notification was issued by the ECP after, the Supreme Court declared February 8, 2024, as the date for holding general elections across the country after the ECP submitted the record of meeting with the president.