In these modern times, news channels have to pay attention to the rules set by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA). In their current affairs show ‘7 se 8’, Samaa TV breached rule number 5 under the policy of ‘Coverage of incidents of accidents, violence and crime’. On live television, they showcased an interview with sexually harassed children. The interview frankly discussed many things revolving around the topic of their experiences, not paying heed to the long term repercussions that these sensitive children may experience.
In doing so, they broke the fifth rule that “Extreme caution shall be exercised in handling themes, plots or scenes that depict sex offense”. They fully mishandled the situation with youngsters that had already experienced more than most of the viewing public will ever face in their lifetime. Pakistan’s President, Arif Alvi took to twitter his concern regarding this despicable ordeal and asked PEMRA to take appropriate measures against Samaa TV.
PEMRA issued notice to Samaa for airing such inappropriate content and gave them a notice to show their cause. When dealing with victims of sexual assault, it is important to take the right frame of action. First, there needs to be setting of ground rules, followed by asking questions that are not related to the abuse. This is followed by asking questions in the narrative form rather than asking questions directly and head on. Samaa TV reportedly didn’t follow any measures when dealing with these sensitive victims of such a grave affliction.