Stories about media

When the media gets off the wrong side of the bed

The media takes a lot of flak across the world when it gets something wrong. In the fast paced world, with the events and happenings toppling over each other due to speed, mistakes do happen. These mistakes sometimes evoke guffaws and get stacked into the category of bloopers, but at other times, they evoke horror and outrage that is difficult to live down. When the media was restricted to print, it was easy to cover tracks by printing a corrigendum. Sometimes it was self-generated, at others due to protests lodged by the offended party or the mistake being pointed out ...

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2170 days

It was a cold sunny morning, in March 2010, when I was given the opportunity to work with a young dynamic team that would be a part of an upcoming newspaper. We, as a small team at our Islamabad office, had started telling people that we were working for The Express Tribune, a paper affiliated with the New York Times, to be launched in a couple of months. “We don’t know what newspaper you guys are talking about,” almost everybody responded. “We will talk to you when this paper actually launches.” To our horror, most of the people we called slammed their phones on ...

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Believing in one’s own propaganda: Newspapers of Dhaka and the war of 1971

During a recent visit to Dhaka, I had the opportunity to do research in the National Archives of Bangladesh and the Library of Dhaka University. Although the creation of Bangladesh was not the focus of my research, I was anxious to learn more about the tragic events resulting in the death of countless civilians and the dismemberment of Pakistan. For this purpose, I picked up the files of two English newspapers, Morning News and Pakistan Observer, published from Dhaka and examined their contents for the months of November and December. I looked at the headlines, feature articles and advertisements printed in these newspapers between November ...

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Why Pakistan should recognise Israel

Sometimes it becomes inexorable and practical to change the paradigms, let the past stay in the past and forget about historical incidents in order to open doors that lead to peace, prosperity and harmony. History documents that Pakistan and Israel are never directly involved in hostility or disputes with each other. However, in showing solidarity with Arab countries and in support of Palestine, Pakistan has categorically refused to recognise Israel as an independent state since its inception. Our history books and widespread stereotypes have played a major role in filling our hearts and minds with hatred against Israel. Considering the cost-benefit analysis and without ...

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Revolution 2020: Corruption, injustice and inequality, what more can one ask for

Chetan Bhaghat’s Revolution 2020 is a stirring story which mirrors love, corruption and ambitions. Bhaghat is a well-renowned Indian writer, who is famous for his novels such as Half Girlfriend, Two States, Call Centre, among others. We have also seen depiction of his novels in Bollywood movies. Revolution 2020 revolves around three childhood friends Gopal, Raghav, and Aarti. Gopal belongs to a middle-class family and aims to become a rich man. Hence he uses his knowledge to make money. On the other hand, coming from a wealthy family, Raghav’s goals are to use his intellect to start a revolution and make a difference in the society. Aarti comes from a ...

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The good old days of ‘Subuh Bakhair’ and today’s deteriorating morning shows

The history of morning shows in Pakistan dates back to January 1988, when the nation witnessed its first morning show, Subuh Bakhair, live on Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV). The show was hosted by the famed author and travel writer, Mustansar Hussain Tarar – the Chacha Jee of our era – for nearly seven years. He is considered as the pioneer of live morning transmissions in Pakistan. “Assalam-o-Alaikum saray Pakistan aur pyare Pakistan!” (Good morning to all of Pakistan and beloved Pakistan!) These words still echo in the hearts and minds of millions. This was Tarar’s trademark with which he used to open his show in his famous idiosyncratic style. His prime audience majorly consisted of children, with ...

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She’s always busy texting or socialising: 10 ways to raise teens of this generation

“I have no clue who Sarmad chats with all night and is always late for college,” said a disgruntled mom of a 19-year-old. Another one complained, “Aaah they are all like this these days, I just can’t tolerate my daughters friends. I know they are bad company, but she just can’t stay away from them.” “My son is suffering from acute bronchitis from smoking shisha every single day after university,” one mom said sobbing with grief. An angry dad beat his son blue and black upon finding him watching porn on the computer, while Mrs Ahmed argues with her 18-year-old daughter on proper ...

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Today, one week later, we still mourn

Never in my wildest thoughts did I ever imagine that my eyes would leak like an open tap of water when writing a story about brutal murder. I was a reporter, after all. I had seen the worst and reported on things people wouldn’t bare to imagine. But this time was different.  When we first start reporting, we are taught to keep our own biases and opinions out of our stories. Under no circumstance are we to get involved. Objectivity is key, they taught us. This time, it was personal. Two days earlier, a friend of mine asked me why I don’t ...

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Has Pakistan forgotten its sense of humour?

Pakistan lost against India in their opening World Cup match, but that did not affect the love I have for my team. My support does not depend on them winning or losing. Having seen all the criticism directed at our team, I couldn’t help but wonder what the morale of our team must have been. I mean, realistically speaking, three of our key players, Saeed Ajmal, Muhammad Hafeez and Umar Gul aren’t playing. That will obviously affect the outcome of our team. That isn’t an excuse, the fact that until the very beginning of the World Cup, our team was relying ...

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Is social media the new monster-in-law?

Up until a few years ago, we only had to deal with the ever-increasing benchmark set by the oldest female in the house, usually the mother(monster)-in-law. The vicious cycle of the saas bahu was a daily opera limited to the confines of respective households and, eventually, the daughter-in-law came to accept that she was ‘not good enough’. When Fariha cooked her umpteenth daig of biryani, this time to perfection, with the rice not sticking to each other like khichdi and the yellow masala gleaming like sunshine, at some level she hoped her mother-in-law would finally let out a whistle. Instead, her mother-in-law ignored looking her in the eye and ...

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