My Experience at Private Media Sector (Short Summary)
I did a job in Pakistan private news channels from 2013 to 2018 in the technical department. I did waste my five precious years in this sector but I got different experiences of my life. Furthermore, I did visit those places in the capital city of Pakistan for which I didn’t think about it i.e Inside Parliament House, Supreme Court, Election Commission, Ministers Enclave (Parliament Lodges), and my favorite Bani Gala. In addition, I met different personalities i.e Politicians, Celebrities and Cricketers etc.
In these five years, I have seen that those people who are working as field reporters, cameraman, and engineers and those who are working on a junior level are facing exploitation a lot on daily basis. Additionally, those people who are working with sincerity and integrity are always targeted by the haters in the same department and humiliated for their minor mistakes.
Employees at Private Media Sector
In private news channels staff are working in different shifts with no fixed duty timings. In addition, when required they often perform duties for 24 hrs nonstop. However, most of the employee’s salaries are between $80 to $300 per month. Secondly, they don’t get a salary on time and their salaries transfer into their bank account maybe after 45 or 50 days.
Most of the private news channels in Pakistan exploiting young and fresh graduates of Journalism and Engineering by offering them a job without salary and using them for full-time duty. Further to this, after 3 or 6 months when they request for their salary then the Human Resource Department of the same channel terminate them and hire other fresh people on the same terms and conditions.
Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) issue licenses to these private channels. Whereas, I think they don’t have any rules and regulations regarding the service structure of employees specifically on lower posts i.e field reporters, cameraman and engineers. As I said, most of the private news channels exploit their employees, and many employees of different channels registered their complaints at PEMRA but unfortunately, the regulatory authority didn’t take any action against the owners of the channel.
Due to ongoing COVID-19 situation, many employees lost their job. Sadly, most of them are now earning their living by selling food items in markets.
Besides, in my opinion, I think the Government of Pakistan should rationalize private news channels. Therefore, only those private media platforms will remain who can provide salary to their employees on time. Furthermore, these news channels treat their employees well and don’t exploit their talent.
Many people suggest that the Government of Pakistan should ban almost all private news channels and only 2 or 3 good reputed private media channels will remain. Additionally, nation own news and entertainment channels are taking almost their last breath, and only one national channel which is PTV Sports is running good and generating revenue. Moreover, PTV structure is huge but unfortunately, the Government of Pakistan is not utilizing it efficiently.
In view of the above, if the government of Pakistan utilize PTV structure and reorganize their department and staff. So, all those people who will lose their so-called job in private news channels can be accommodated in PTV. In addition, their permanent status at national television will depend on their performance.
To conclude, by keeping in view these opinions if the Government of Pakistan work on this so, it may change the face of the media sector in Pakistan. Additionally, PTV will rise again and their structure will be utilized efficiently and accurately. However, one problem will be raised and I am pointing towards PTV good old employees. Moreover, in reorganization, these old employees may be adjusted according to their skills and performance.