Jahanzaib Haque

Jahanzaib Haque

News buff and Web Editor, The Express Tribune. Jahanzaib tweets @Jhaque_ twitter.com/jhaque_

Who tops Pakistan news on social media? (II)

More Facebook pages and better engagement on existing ones seem to be the key trends among Pakistan’s media groups as they battle it out for social media supremacy. While the need to grow in terms of sheer numbers of followers on Facebook and Twitter is still a primary goal, almost all the online media groups have been trying (with varying degrees of success) to increase engagement, particularly on Facebook via visual web rules: Share photos instead of links. Images have better engagement levels. Take a message (or news story) and make it visual. Now that a number of the media groups are reaching ...

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We are not Malala, we may be the Taliban

In order for terrorists to flourish, they need more than guns, funding and a geographical location to operate in – they also need an ideological space to occupy and work inside. That is how they persist; that is how they can win. This fact is one which the majority of Pakistanis have yet to come to terms with: the fact that we ourselves are often individually culpable and involved in the war being waged against the terrorists in our country. Tragically, we are often knowingly or unknowingly on the wrong side of the ideological front. Nowhere has this been better illustrated ...

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Enemies of Pakistan: Now on Facebook

The uproar over the anti-Islam ‘film’ (if it can really be called a film) has finally become a fad for Pakistan’s youth. It’s hip. Its trendy now, and I can say this with surety, because its finally all over my Facebook wall. If ever there was proof that social media is simply a tool reflecting the community that wields it, and not some glorious tool towards progressive change, that time for Pakistanis is now. First I got the seemingly harmless (although the stat cited is obviously just cooked up) viral image demanding the removal of the video from YouTube: I decided to follow the ...

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Shame on me for championing Veena Malik

No, I’m not writing to bash Veena Malik for showing too much cleavage, saying sex before marriage is cool or any of the 20,000 things Pakistanis habitually bash her for. I have actually been a part of ‘Team Veena’ – a big fan of this bold, outspoken woman who seemed (unlike the rest of this nation) to keep it real, even in the face of fame and celebdom. No more so I am afraid. If you haven’t watched the clip above, let me narrate what happens in it. VEENA MALIK MINI-EXORCIST EPISODE SCRIPT Veena Malik receives a call-in on her show ‘Astaghfaar’ on ...

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Who tops Pakistan news on social media?

The need to be ‘social’ online is shaping up to be a new rat race for clicks, comments and user engagement among local news media outlets. With an estimated 20 million Pakistanis online and over six million on Facebook, the ability to convert these numbers into tangible, easy-to-measure consumers of news content is, even at this early stage, a new measure of success. Currently media groups are focused on growth and expansion of their user bases (via their sites or social media channels), experimenting with forms of content and content sharing mechanisms and for some, the first phases of trying to ...

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Dear PEMRA, what is indecent, anti-state, anti-national?

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) is really stepping up its efforts to, at least superficially, hold the media accountable. First they made their public complaints archive publicly accessible online – good job, although a glance at the complaints does highlight the issue of their complaint centre being hijacked by propaganda-laden trolling. Secondly, and more critically, they have uploaded a draft of the upcoming PEMRA Content Regulations 2012 – the code of conduct that local broadcasters will be bound to. The regulatory body has also called on the public to email their feedback before May 07, 2012, after which ...

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What is the worst thing about Pakistan’s media?

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) deserves a pat on the back for its bold move towards greater transparency in their online complaints section – they’ve given the public access to the complaint log. To be frank, a pat on the back for Pemra and a cold shiver down one’s spine is unfortunately the order of the day. Let us delve into this treasure trove of the Pakistani complainant’s mindset. First of all, the top 10 list of offenders: No Name Complaints 1 Samaa TV 450 2 Geo News 147 3 Geo Ent 95 4 Express News 32 5 AAG / Geo Aur 26 6 ARY Digital 21 7 HUM TV 13 8 Dawn News 11 9 Dunya TV News 11 10 AAJ News 8 That is a total of over 800 complaints; again, an ...

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February 28, 2012
TOPICS

Maya Khan, apology not accepted

Call her a vigil-aunty, call her a vapid morning show host, call her what you must, you have to admire the sheer tenacity of Maya Khan in her refusal to back down, lay low and do the one thing she needs to do to end her misery – apologize for a mistake. I had hoped never to see Maya appear on a TV screen again – in any other country, she would have been fined (along with her producers and the media group) faced a legal inquiry and been banned from TV. Unfortunately, in Express News’ desire to produce “the greatest ...

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Waiting for evolution in Pakistan’s classrooms

When I was in class III, my school teacher showed us an unusual illustration in our science class. It was the classic drawing of the evolution of man, from monkey ancestor to homosapien, and I remember thinking back then: well, that makes a lot of sense, we look just like monkeys. There was no big debate in our science class. The teacher just taught us evolution (change via natural selection across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations), and we just absorbed the information and assumed it to be true. The narrative of how life came into existence ...

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Have you been exorcised by Baba Welfare?

What is being witnessed in the video above? Is it an exorcism, or is it a terrifying, arcane ritual devoid of any notion of modern medicine (leave alone human and social cost)? Imagine yourself to be the girl being exorcised. What would you feel? Terror? Helplessness? Would you play along just to appease your family who has put you in this position and this big bearded man calling you a devil? Would you fight back, and to what end, given that your struggle will be called further proof of the presence of a jinn? Now try to imagine that you are actually ...

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