Pakistan has done what India has been threatening for a long time to do: merge its various media regulatory bodies into one outfit.
Imran Khan‘s government has approved the formation of the Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority (PMRA) which will comprise the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) and the Press Council of Pakistan (PCP).
Pakistan’s information minister Fawad Choudhry is quoted by the Dawn newspaper as saying that not just electronic media but also print and “cyber” media would come under the umbrella of PMRA—and that the same laws will apply across the board.
Indian governments, be they Congress-led or BJP-led, have been pussyfooting on the idea of a Media Council of India, and have caved into various vested interests, with the result that only the Press Council of India, created by an act of Parliament, oversees print media, while electronic media and digital media operate to their own whims and fancies.
Dawn has a critical editorial in its January 26 edition:
Screenshot: courtesy Dawn