Samaa TV is in trouble yet again. The media house has been recommended for a Rs1 million fine by PEMRA over questionable content it aired recently.
The incident occurred during one of the re-enactments of a crime being shown on the broadcaster’s channel. The re-enactment featured a boy sending inappropriate text to a girl on the show “Wardaat”, the title of the re-enactment. In a country of 20 million people, Pakistan has certain unwritten social norms and rules that forbid such content from being shown to the public.
“Wardaat” hurt the sentiments of a large number of people as PEMRA received a number of complaints. The regulatory body decided to take swift action by sending a show-cause notice to the broadcaster, with a two-week response window. Since no response was received from Samaa TV, the case was handed over to PEMRA’s Council of Complaints Office, based in Karachi. The office approved a Rs1 million fine for Samaa TV, while also sending notices to other satellite networks to exercise caution and restraint with the content that is aired on their respective networks.
While it is encouraging to see PEMRA and relevant authorities in action, the hefty fine also sets a valuable precedent for the entire media and broadcasting sector in Pakistan