Pakistan’s electronic media regulator has barred television anchors from giving “opinions” during talk shows and has limited their role of being a “moderator”, a report said on Monday.
In an order issued on Sunday, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) also directed anchors hosting regular shows “not to appear as experts” in talk shows in their own or other channels, the Dawn newspaper reported. As per the PEMRA code of conduct, the role of anchors is to moderate the programmes in an objective, unbiased and impartial manner, excluding themselves from their personal biases on any issue. “Therefore, anchors hosting exclusive regular shows should not appear in talk shows, whether own or other channels,” as subject matter experts,” the report said, citing the order.
The order comes following a ruling by the Islamabad High Court last week in the matter of Shahbaz Sharif vs. the state that took cognisance of various TV talk shows in which anchors, in violation of the code of conduct, tried to malign the judiciary, the report said.