PM launches Digital Media Development Programme, censures mainstream outlets

The Digital Media Development Programme, focusing on the growth of digital media in Pakistan, has been launched in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

Prime Minister Imran Khan inaugurated the programme on Friday in Islamabad. However, his speech focused on what is known as mainstream media – newspapers and TV channels.

The PM said the PTI government, unlike any other in Pakistan’s entire history, had left the media completely unrestrained and more than 70% of all content published or aired was against his government.

What is Digital Media Development Programme

The Digital Media Development Programme (DMDP) seeks to bridge the gap between students, the government and the digital media industry at large, according to its website dmw.gov.pk.

The programme is tailored specifically for bachelor students who are about to graduate and enter the industry, empowering them and help them learn the working of the digital media industry.

A UNDP tweet stated that it was “proud to support” the government program, enhancing the digital skills of Pakistani youth, besides helping them gain better employment opportunities.

DMDP website says the programme would work to “create and mentor a cadre of empowered students who are equipped with the new-age skills required to operate in the digital media industry”.

“Our goal is to disseminate immediate, valid and results-oriented digital media content from Government of Pakistan, Federal Ministries and Prime Minister’s Office official social media accounts, ” the DMDP website says in the about section.

Third or final year students from certain social science and computer departments are eligible to apply for the programme. The following areas have been listed by website:

  • Mass Communication
  • International Relations
  • Journalism
  • Public Policy and Administration
  • Media Sciences
  • Computer Sciences
  • Software Engineering
  • Business Administration

‘Problem is with fake news’

Stressing that mainstream media enjoyed unprecedented freedom, Imran Khan said the government had the problem only with the fake news or propaganda.

He said that the Digital Media Development Programme was an opportunity for innovation.

Advising the youth to set higher goals, he said that they should be ambitious. Urging the youth to convert Pakistan into a model Islamic state, he said that this state should primarily be based on self-respect.

The PM said the freedom allowed to the media could be measured by calculating the number of programs that were “against pro- and how many were anti-government”.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the low level of slanderous reports appearing in local media against ministers and even the PM was unsurpassed by comparison to similar reports abroad.

Citing an example, he said that when the new prime minister of Azad Kashmir had been elected, three major newspapers proclaimed that he (the Azad Kashmir PM) had been nominated because of magic.

Elaborating on the news stories, he said that what would someone abroad had thought if he or she read that the prime minister determined the astrological chart and then nominated the Azad Kahmir PM. He said that such reports were also an “insult” to a grass-root level politician who had 30 years of experience in politics. He said that such reports tarnished the country’simage abroad.

He said that if such news stories had been published anywhere else in the world “I can guarantee I could have gotten millions of dollars in damages which I would have sent to my charity”.

According to him, neither a free judiciary nor a free media could hurt the PTI government because it was not corrupt or broke any law. The government, he said, was hurt by “fake news” and “propaganda”.

Criticizing the opposition, he said that all the noise had been because the government was making sure that powerful peole were held answerable to their misdeeds.

Self-respect, rule of law and concern for humanity were necessary ingredients for becoming a great nation.

The Information Ministry’s Digital Media Wing termed the program a “flagship initiative” in line with the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan.



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