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Unable to stop bomb blasts, Pakistan bans TV coverage of terror attacks, says news broadcast is ‘violating rules’

Additionally, the watchdog said, "media coverage of such instances often gives terrorists an organizational advantage by allowing a particular group to exhibit its strength and audacity in comparison with its rivals.”

On Monday, February 22, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) issued a notification prohibiting television news channels from covering terrorist attacks in the country.

According to Pakistani media reports, PEMRA guidelines directed TV networks to abide by the PEMRA’s 2015 Electronic Media Code of Conduct in addition to past directives on the issue.

In its notification, the Pakistan media regulatory authority said, “It has been observed with grave concern that satellite TV channels are unable to comply with rules of Electronic Media Code of Conduct-2015 in text and spirit despite repeated directives.”

The regulatory authority justified its decision by claiming that during a terror attack, news networks turn to marathon broadcasts while disregarding fundamental journalistic standards and ethics in order to “claim lead” and “credit” for breaking the news first. The notification adds that by “airing live images of the crime scene,” the media channels are also violating journalistic standards.

PEMRA also stated that such reports cause chaos among both domestic and foreign viewers, stating that such instances aid terrorists by “publicizing their campaign” and “using media as a sort of political advertising.”

Additionally, the watchdog said, “media coverage of such instances often gives terrorists an organizational advantage by allowing a particular group to exhibit its strength and audacity in comparison with its rivals.”

Notification issued by PEMRA (Image via The News International)

This comes after a series of terror attacks in Pakistan. The infamous Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the recent assault on a police station in Karachi, which left four people dead, including two policemen, and 19 others injured. On Sharah-e-Faisal road, behind the Sadar police station, is the heavily guarded KPO. Several administrative and residential structures, as well as hundreds of officers and their families, are housed within the compound.

Three attackers parked a silver Indus Corolla car at the KPO entrance shortly after dusk in the port city. Under cover of indiscriminate gunfire, the assailants made their way inside a local mosque close to the KPO first. A sweeper lost his life due to firing by the terrorists there. They then arrived at the KPO premises, detonated a hand grenade at the entrance to create chaos, and took advantage of the opportunity to enter the building.

The Karachi attack came a few weeks after the explosion in the Peshawar police lines mosque on January 30 leaving over 72 persons dead and 150 injured.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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