President Dr Arif Alvi has accorded his approval to Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) Amendment Bill 2023. The president approved the bill under Article 75 of the Constitution of Pakistan, President Secretariat Press Wing said in a press release. Speaking to media persons, former information minister Marriyum Aurangzeb congratulated the media workers saying that they have brought the black law within the limits of democratic and basic human rights and the Constitution. The freedom of expression has turned into a reality after the inclusion of Article 19 as a part of the law, she added. The former information minister said that the bill will ensure financial security for media workers as the government will not grant ads to those media houses that will not pay the dues to journalists for consecutive two months. “The transfer of powers from Pemra chairman to Council of Complaints has become law,” she said, adding that the inclusion of the representatives of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) in the council has become law. Aurangzeb hailed the bill and said that it was a collective effort of media workers and media houses. Earlier in the day, President Dr Arif Alvi had assured media workers and the journalist community of his support for the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) Amendment Bill 2023. The president was talking to a delegation of the representatives of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA), Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE), and Association of Electronic Media Editors and News Directors (AEMEND), who called on him at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, the President Secretariat Press Wing said in a press release. The delegation included Afzal Butt, Arshad Ansari, Naz Afreen Saigol, Sarmad Ali, Shahab Zuberi, Shakeel Masud, Ijaz ul Haq, Kazim Khan, Ayaz Khan, and Azhar Abbas. Talking to the delegation, the president appreciated the collective efforts of the media community for introducing amendments to the PEMRA law, especially to protect the rights of media workers. He said that the linking of government advertisements with the payment of dues to electronic media employees would help address their issues. The president discussed in detail various aspects of the bill with the visiting delegation. The amended bill had brought improvements to the existing media law, he said. He also asked the members of the delegation to volunteer to educate the youth about fake news and disinformation, and highlighted that teenagers were among the most vulnerable populations to the scourge of fake news, and needed to be educated and sensitized about its implications. He further said the media, especially senior journalists, should enhance linkages with academia and universities to guide and educate students about fake news and the new developments taking place in the field of journalism. The president also urged the need to promote diversity of thought and opinions by promoting dialogue in society and free exchange of ideas. He said that the dynamics of new forms of media, especially social media, should be understood, adding that it was the responsibility of media to educate the people on morality and the use of social media in a responsible and constructive manner. The delegation briefed the president about various provisions of the new bill that would benefit the journalist community as well as media employees. They thanked the president for his support and for taking interest in addressing the issues faced by the media community.