Govt. has not issued any notice for licensing of Web TV and OTT – Focal Person to PM on Digital Media

  • Dr. Arlsan Khalid, Focal Person to Prime Minister on Digital Media has issued a statement about the licensing of web TV and OTT (over the top media)
  • There was massive fake news in this regard and this statement has come out as a rebuttal.
  • The Govt of Pakistan has not announced anything regarding the regulation of digital media.
Web TV Licensing Clarification.2
Web TV Licensing Clarification

Here is the complete statement from Dr. Arslan Khalid, Focal Person to Prime Minister Imran Khan on Digital Media.

Govt of Pakistan has not issued any notice for licensing of Web TV and OTT.
PEMRA which is an autonomous regulator for electronic media has just posted a draft on their website asking for suggestions from the relevant stake holders about how they think is the best way to regulate .
As far as the Govt is concerned we are steadfast and committed in our promise to facilitate and promote digital media industry as much as possible. In just the last 10 months, this govt for the first time, has come up with the solutions to build an economy around the digital media, helping to create jobs and bring in new ideas through fresh content in the digital media landscape.

Prime Minister’s recent meeting with the Youtubers and Digital media publishers is a testimony in itself that this govt is taking digital media very seriously.

With a vibrant and flourishing industry, it is also important for the Govt to protect the interests of all stake holders by bringing regulations which do not hamper the freedom of speech and at the same time also protect the rights of ordinary citizens.

We are witnessing that since it’s still an immature industry, various people with a mic and mobile phone in their hand become digital media reporters and start harassing other people through unknown youtube channels. Incidents like that of Sargodha where a lady doctor was harassed by unknown web channels, need to be stopped.

Similarly, YouTube channels with unknown owners ptomoting vulgar content or conspiracy theories or ‘fitna’ in the name of Islam is a dangerous trend and needs regulation.

However this doesn’t mean that heavy licensing fees are being introduced, it will be counter productive. Govt will not take any step without taking the digital community on board and like the digital advertising policy, govt will keep the community in the loop over all the developments on this front.

The panic on social media:

Some journalists like Rauf Klasra claimed that the Govt has decided to regulate Youtube and other streaming services. Some other digital publishers started picking on the same narrative and portrayed it as a full and final decision.

But what actually happened was, PEMRA had only published a draft on their website in which they asked for suggestions. It was nothing like finalized or approved.

So we have that this statement from Dr. Arslan Khalid clarifies the confusion and panic caused by the fake news.

Leave a comment below and let us know what you think about it.

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