Media of Pakistan
Media in Pakistan provides information on television, radio, cinema, newspapers, and magazines inPakistan.
The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA, formerly RAMBO - Regulatory Authority for Media and Broadcast Organizations) was formed in 2002 to "facilitate and promote a free, fair and independent electronic media", including opening the broadcasting market in Pakistan. By the end of 2009 PEMRA had:
- issued 78 satellite TV licenses;
- issued "landing rights" to 28 TV channels operating from abroad, with more under consideration;
- issued licenses for 129 FM radio stations, including 18 non-commercial licenses to leading universities offering courses mass communication and six licenses in Azad Jammu and Kashmir;
- registered 2,346 cable TV systems serving an estimated 8 million households; and
- issued six MMDS (Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Service), two Internet protocol TV (IPTV), and twomobile TV licenses, with more under consideration.
PEMRA is also involved in media censorship and occasionally halts broadcasts and closes media outlets. Publication or broadcast of “anything which defames or brings into ridicule the head of state, or members of the armed forces, or executive, legislative or judicial organs of the state,” as well as any broadcasts deemed to be “false or baseless” can bring jail terms of up to three years, fines of up to 10 million rupees (US$165,000), and license cancellation.
The first television station began broadcasting from Lahore in November 1963. Television in Pakistan remained the government's exclusive control until 1990 when Shalimar Television Network (STN) and Network Television Marketing (NTM) launched Pakistan’s first private TV channel. Foreign satellite TV channels were added during the 1990s.
Traditionally, the government-owned Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV) has been the dominant media player in Pakistan. The PTV channels are controlled by the government and opposition views are not given much time. The past decade has seen the emergence of several private TV channels showing news and entertainment, such as GEO TV, AAJ TV, ARY Digital, HUM, MTV Pakistan, and others. Traditionally the bulk of TV shows have been plays or soap operas, some of them critically acclaimed. Various American, European, Asian TV channels, and movies are available to a majority of the population via Cable TV. Television accounted for almost half of the advertising expenditure in Pakistan in 2002.[dead link]
The government-owned Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) was formed on 14 August 1947, the day of Pakistani independence. It was a direct descendant of the Indian Broadcasting Company, which later becameAll India Radio. At independence, Pakistan had radio stations in Dhaka, Lahore, and Peshawar. A major programme of expansion saw new stations open at Karachi and Rawalpindi in 1948, and a new broadcasting house at Karachi in 1950. This was followed by new radio stations at Hyderabad (1951), Quetta (1956), a second station at Rawalpindi (1960), and a receiving centre at Peshawar (1960). During the 1980s and 1990s the corporation expanded its network to many cities and towns of Pakistan to provide greater service to the local people. In October 1998, Radio Pakistan started its first FM transmission.
Today, there are over a hundred public and private radio stations due to more liberal media regulations. FM broadcast licenses are awarded to parties that commit to open FM broadcasting stations in at least one rural city along with the major city of their choice.
The press is much more restricted in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), where independent radio is allowed only with permission from the government.
|“||In the ‘golden days’ of Pakistani cinema, the film industry churned out more than 200 films annually, today it’s one-fifth of what it used to be. The Federal Bureau of Statistics shows that once the country boasted at least 700 cinemas, this number has dwindled to less than 170 by 2005.||”|
The indigenous movie industry, based in Lahore and known as "Lollywood", produces roughly forty feature-length films a year.
In 2008 the Pakistani government partially lifted its 42-year ban on screening Indian movies in Pakistan.
Newspapers and magazines
In 1947 only four major Muslim-owned newspapers existed in the area now called Pakistan: Pakistan Times, Zamindar, Nawa-i-Waqt, and Civil and Military Gazette. A number of Muslim papers moved to Pakistan, including Dawn, which began publishing daily in Karachi in 1947, the Morning News, and the Urdu-language dailies Jang and Anjam. By the early 2000s, 1,500 newspapers and journals existed in Pakistan.
In the early 21st century, as in the rest of the world, the number of print outlets in Pakistan declined precipitously, but total circulation numbers increased. From 1994 to 1997, the total number of daily, monthly, and other publications increased from 3,242 to 4,455, but had dropped to just 945 by 2003 with most of the decline occurring in the Punjab Province. However, from 1994 to 2003 total print circulation increased substantially, particularly for dailies (3 million to 6.2 million). And after the low point in 2003 the number of publications grew to 1279 in 2004, to 1997 in 2005, 1467 in 2006, 1820 in 2007, and 1199 in 2008.
Newspapers and magazines are published in 11 languages; most in Urdu and Sindhi, but English-language publications are numerous. Most print media are privately owned, but the government controls the Associated Press of Pakistan, one of the major news agencies. From 1964 into the early 1990s, the National Press Trust acted as the government's front to control the press. The state, however, no longer publishes daily newspapers; the former Press Trust sold or liquidated its newspapers and magazines in the early 1990s.
The press is generally free and has played an active role in national elections, but journalists often exerciseself-censorship as a result of arrests and intimidation by government and societal actors. The press is much more restricted in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), where no newspapers are published, and inPakistani-administered Kashmir, where publications need special permission from the regional government to operate and pro-independence publications are generally prohibited.
Pakistan's major news agencies include: