Shahbaz Sharif during his visit to Kot Lakpat Jail Lahore on April 24. Twitter photo
The state-run Pakistan Television (PTV) has suspended 17 officials for failing to ensure "proper" coverage of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s Lahore visit on the channel last week.
However, the broadcast failure was due to the non-availability of an advanced laptop required to upload the video footage through file transfer protocol (FTP), said an official.
The suspended employees claimed they had been scapegoated by the PTV administration appointed by the previous regime in order to save the bigwigs.
Shahbaz had on April 24 visited Kot Lakhpat Jail and Ramadan Bazaars in Lahore, however, the PTV team, despite prior information failed to cover the events on the spot allegedly owing to non-availability of a properly functional laptop.
As per the standard operating procedures, a VVIP team comprising reporters and producers is responsible for the coverage of the prime minister. The team is equipped with the latest broadcast gadgets, including laptops for live streaming and timely uploading of the footage of any event. The core team is stationed in Islamabad and moves with the premier across the country and abroad.
When the PTV Lahore centre was conveyed about Shahbaz’s visit, they informed the PTV headquarters and its director of news about the non-availability of an advanced laptop.
Earlier on April 18 also, the PTV Lahore had written a letter to the headquarters informing it that they had hired a laptop from a private vendor for the prime minister’s visit to the city a day ago, as the office did not have one of its own.
The Lahore centre wrote in the letter that the Press Information Department demanded an editing team with a laptop along with the news team for timely editing and feeding to the concerned from the spot. "Since we don’t have any laptop editing facility at the Lahore centre, we hired a laptop with the editing facility this time and deputed staff from the centre, but as a permanent arrangement we must own the same facility at the centre.”
Officials said the Lahore bureau was informed about Sharif's April 24 visit. It once again demanded a laptop, however, the in-charge of reporting as well as current affairs departments of the state-run TV in the capital did not pay any heed and suggested hiring one again.
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