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Moves to squelch media, again

(CPJ/IFEX) - May 23, 2012 - The following is a CPJ Blog post:

By Mazhar Abbas/CPJ Guest Blogger

With general elections approaching, the landscape is again bearing eerie resemblance to the final days of General Pervez Musharraf's reign. In November 2007 he banned selected TV channels for 88 days to stifle what he saw as "irresponsible journalism." Now, Pakistani electronic media might be chained again, this time for violating cultural and ethical values by airing satirical programming and interviewing political leaders the government does not like seeing on air.

This month, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) sent broadcasters a media advisory with the names of 40 banned organizations. The TV stations were not to give them any coverage, including conducting interviews with their leaders. It is an indicator of the strength and impact of the broadcast industry that no such message was sent to print media. At least not yet.

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