05252017Headline:

Disturbing trend of politicians working as anchors and commentators: Abdul Q Kundi

Former member of PTI Chairman Advisory Committee and Central Tarbiyati Council issued following statement about politicians working as anchors and commentators:

I have always believed that politicians and journalists are two sides of the same coin but they have to always remain on the opposite sides for a viable democracy. Recently there has been a new trend introduced where politicians are hosting programs as anchors and commentators. In other words, they are impinging on the territory of journalists. This trend is not surprising because elites of the country are not willing to leave any space for others. They want to control all levers of power including national narrative.

This is a disturbing trend and must be stopped at this early stage. PEMRA should instruct tv channels to classify these programs as political advertisement and post this label on the program for its entire duration. TV Channels should also be required to ensure that all other political parties are provided equal time if it is not being billed as an advertisement. Commercials run during the program should be considered as a political donation and recorded as such in the financial statements of the political party.

We have to let journalist do their jobs of questioning politicians so that interests of the public are safeguarded. The professional journalists hosting program as anchors should be required to disclose if they are a member of a political party or not. As an oped contributor of Pakistan Today I have made it mandatory for them to disclose my association with Pakistan Tehreeke Insaf when publishing these pieces.

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