New and alternative names for Ministry of Information and Broadcasting

The Commission recommends that in order to reflect a re-structured Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, new and alternative names are also considered for this Ministry.

(i) The traditional association of the title : “Ministry of Information and Broadcasting” with the production of propaganda for the Government of-the-day is so strongly identified with a one-sided, power-centric dimension that it would be appropriate to consider alternative names.

(ii) Further, the term “Broadcasting” has long become redundant because its original application was to the dissemination of radio content. Whereas with the advent of television, “telecasting” became the more accurate term to cover the visual aspect of “broadcasting”

(iii) But with the rapid growth of the Internet and social media, the dissemination of content is also becoming that of “narrow-casting” as distinct from “broadcasting” i.e. there is now customized content produced and aimed at even a single recipient, along with, say, a million recipients, as in “broadcasting”.

(iv) It is notable that the Caretaker Government of November 1996 — February 1997 changed the name of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to the “Ministry of Information and Media Development”. This change was a positive step towards re-defining and restructuring the conventional role of the Ministry as a propaganda arm of the Federal Government because it referred to the responsibility of the Ministry to promote the development of media as a whole, rather than refer only to electronic media with the term “broadcasting”.

(v) For inexplicable reasons, after the first two years of the Government headed by General Pervez Musharraf, the name of the Ministry was reverted to the “Ministry of Information and Broadcasting”.

(vi) There are substantive grounds in 2013 to justify considering alternative titles such as:

(1) “Ministry of Information and Media Development” or
(2) “Ministry for the Media” or
(3) “Ministry of Information” or
(4) “Ministry of Public Information and Media”.

(vii) Thus, the Commission recommends that, subject to such changes and other related changes being made, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the four Provincial Departments of Information be retained as parts of the State and governmental structures.

(viii) The Commission is cognizant of the fact that it will require amendments to the Constitution, laws, Rules of Business and other formal texts to make implementation of these Recommendations possible and that these changes can take place only after both the Hon’ble Court and Parliament have endorsed this Recommendation, and support its implementation.

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