Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz, in a heated press conference on Thursday, confirmed the authenticity of her viral audio clip.
In an audio clip doing rounds on social media, Maryam Nawaz can be heard saying, “We have given many chances to Samaa News. The kind of news Samaa [airs] and the way its anchor Nadeem Malik is, we can no longer work with the channel. So we are not giving any ads to Samaa.”
”Samaa News, Channel 92, ARY News, and Channel 24 will not get any ads from us [PML-N],” said Maryam.
In response to a statement made by Maryam Nawaz, Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) and All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) said that government advertising should never be used to influence editorial content or to control free speech.
The two bodies in their separate statements said that the governments should not try to create divisions within the media industry or use advertising as a tool to exercise control over news organisations.
PBA said the present government had centralised the process under which decisions pertaining to advertisements are made, taking this right away from individual government organisations, departments and ministries, in order to exercise total control over media.
“The present government’s track record on media relations has also come under a lot of criticism by media watchdogs and journalists’ bodies. When governments try to control freedom of expression, democracy and the people of Pakistan suffer the most,” it added.
Meanwhile, APNS said, “The figures released are not only partial and selective but purposefully do not include the advertisement spending of the present government. The APNS asks the government to release the figures of advertising released to the media in the last 20 years.”
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry presented the record in the National Assembly.