Stories about reporter

Burka Avenger: Why criticise the effort just because of the burka?

Imagine a young Pakistani girl. She lives a normal life; maybe she is just a reporter like Superman. She dresses pretty much like every other Pakistani girl. There’s nothing unique about her. Except.. wait! She is a superhero! She takes on evil villains by using her superpowers, while wearing a disguise. Because, duh, every superhero has to wear a disguise. They must protect their identity. Here’s a picture of the super-girl chilling at Karachi beach: Photo: Ema Anis Err. Sorry. Wrong disguise. Maybe, this? Photo: Ema Anis Um. I’m not so sure… Something just doesn’t gel here. What’s the ...

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When bureaucrats and the media can never be friends

Prior to the devolution of the Ministry of Health to the provinces under the Eighteenth Amendment, it was easy as a reporter to cover the health sector at the federal level. This was because all departments were working under one ministry and had assigned officials to coordinate with media-persons. However, after the devolution, things have changed considerably. The health sector at the federal level has split into eight divisions. Even after two years of devolution, it is still difficult to figure out which department is functioning under which ministry or division. Most of them do not even have spokespersons or media ...

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Writing for minorities isn’t easy

Journalism as a whole needs courage, and more often than not, a journalist has to face pressure from the field for rendering his professional duties. But sometimes, a reporter comes across a situation which he never expects to be in. You may think attack, threatening phone calls or encountering indecent attitude from people are unusual but, in fact, they are routine for a journalist in this country. However, I want to share an unusual experience, which had an everlasting effect on me. It was October 2012, when my family and I went to my would-be in-laws with a proposal of marriage. ...

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When your husband is also a reporter

By tying the knot with a fellow reporter next month, who is equally passionate about work as I am; I would be committing myself to journalism for life, and surely for eternity. This means that arguments and discussions between a husband and wife might entail, ‘I didn’t like your intro!’ or ‘Why didn’t you add colour to your story’ or ‘Your question in the press conference was really dumb’. This implies that the happy moments between a husband and a wife would be basking in the glory of having one’s story printed on the front page of the newspaper, and smiling endlessly to the positive feedback ...

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The problem with your writing is…

Over the last one year, I’ve heard the line, “the problem with your writing is… ” so many times that I’m starting to doubt that I even get my ABC’s right. Lately, the problem has been my excessive, overindulgent use of the first-person narrative, which apparently, is a complete no-no in the world of journalism. I can’t really blame anyone — when I get to writing, I get emotional. Whether the story is about something as frivolous as Veena Malik or as grim as target killings, I just have to incorporate my girly emotions, fall prey to the pretty adjectives ...

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Destination Abu Dhabi

It’s strange how an ordinary reporter’s perspective can change overnight with a single trip abroad. A reporter, according to the norms of a society, comes from them and lives amongst them and, thence, reports what he or she feels must be reported justifiably and correctly, about them. The perks associated with being a reporter pull you in all directions; you are given many opportunities to advance in the field, globetrot occasionally and become a great writer. My recent adventure landed me in Abu Dhabi as I was on a Familiarisation Trip, hosted by Etihad Airways. I got to travel in the ...

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A grim reminder

People often ask me if it is too risky to be a reporter. “Not really”, I tell them, “but if you try to be too adventurous, you can get killed.” I didn’t think of reporting this way until I covered the massacre of May 12, 2007 — a day I will never forget for many reasons: bodies lying in pools of blood, ambulances transporting the wounded and dead, powerful display of firearms by political activists, no policemen for the rescue and escaping bullets. Had I not been adventurous, I would have missed out on what I now consider a lifetime ...

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The life of a business reporter

“Journalism is writing,” columnist Aakar Patel once told me, saying I should write more to justifiably be called a journalist. I was then a sub-editor on the Op-Ed desk of The News. After spending four years on that job, I knew I had become lazy, self-satisfied and highly opinionated – characteristics of a typical sub-editor. So I decided to become a business reporter after coming back from a one-year break that I took to do a Master’s degree in Journalism. If you think a business reporter’s job is a piece of cake, try having a direct conversation with a businessman. Ask him about his ...

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Nasreen’s dismembered body didn’t scare me

Female body parts were found from different parts of Karachi, including Soldier Bazaar and Guru Mandar. One of the victims, whose body parts were found in the Guru Mandar area, was identified as Nasreen. As I looked at Nasreen’s body chopped into pieces that lay on separate tables in a smelly morgue, I did not shudder. Any normal person would have trembled, I think. I spent 15 minutes in that very room where her skinned parts were being inspected by medico legal officers (MLO). I roamed around, looking at her body for details; if I had not seen the body, I ...

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My trip to Guantanamo Bay

A few nights ago, I had a dream where I had ended up in Guantanamo Bay again to cover a military commission hearing sans any luggage. It may sound like the stuff nightmares are made of, but in reality, going to Guantanamo Bay to cover military commission hearings of detainees has been a fascinating, if not surreal experience. From the moment the airhostess on the chartered flight announces, “Welcome to Guantanamo Bay”, to the realisation that you are on a tiny strip of land that has borne witness to some of the worst human rights abuses to have occurred on US ...

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