The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) has imposed a $6,472 fine on a TV channel for airing fake news about Prime Minister Imran Khan's salary raise, it was reported. During a hearing on Thursday, the Neo TV's management was asked to respond to the show-cause notice issued to it around a week ago, Dawn news reported on Saturday.
"The matter relates to airing of the news that the salary package of the prime minister has been enhanced during a talk show. However, a rebuttal was issued by the authority concerned," a Pemra official said on Friday, adding that when the channel did not pay heed to the rebuttal, a show cause notice was issued for airing fake news.
The notice mentioned that the channel had violated the Code of Conduct 2015, and did not air the official denial.
The TV channel management claimed during the hearing that the rebuttal was aired in the same talk show, but the argument was turned down by Pemra on the grounds that it was aired after the show-cause notice was issued.
Meanwhile, a senior official of the regulator said that currently, Pemra was only monitoring talk shows and news bulletins, but airing incorrect tickers too was a violation of the code and fell under the category of fake news.
The regulatory body cannot monitor the tickers due to lack of human resources and technical capacity.
"It is feared that if the monitoring of tickers starts, the violation cases could increase manifold," the official added.