Why didn’t we cover the Punjab Youth Festival?

Published: October 25, 2012
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As a reader and a reporter, I am interested in finding out how long these kids practised to make these records, and what they plan to do next if given the opportunity. PHOTO: INP

I have learnt a lesson in the last few days, thanks to the Punjab Youth Festival. I had somehow started believing that our media actually cared about our success stories. But the festival proved to be a wakeup call for me.

I learnt that we can cover, non-stop, politicians’ fight in assemblies, terrorist attacks, bomb blasts, road blockages by doctors and day-long rallies condemning the US or India. TV channels focus on each aspect of such incidents. Newspapers come up with dozens of side-stories for their readers’ interest. All this, however, only happens in the case of covering bad news.

While almost every newspaper and TV channel covered the news of the world’s largest human flags made by 24,200 kids at the National Hockey Stadium, nobody interviewed any kids who participated and contributed to making of this record. We still don’t know the brains behind this show. One may differ on whether it was a wise decision on the part of the Punjab government to spend massive amounts of money on organising this festival, but there isn’t any doubt that the kids who made the human flag worked very hard to do so.

As a reader and a reporter, I am interested in finding out how long these kids practised to make these records, and what they plan to do next if given the opportunity. I want to know about some of their plans and ambitions. But despite perusing several newspapers and news channels, I came across nothing.

The youth of Punjab had aimed at making a staggering 48 world records at the festival. In the words of Guinness adjudicator Gareth Deaves, they ‘touched the sky’ with their efforts and worked day in and day out to bring Pakistan’s name into the Guinness Book of World Records.

Full-page editions filled with photographs, special reports reflecting the youth’s enthusiasm and passion and special TV packages praising their hard work could not only encourage our youth but also reflect an image of a ‘Brighter Pakistan’.

Read more by Ali here.

Ali Usman

Ali Usman

A Lahore-based reporter who works at The Express Tribune

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Turbo Lover

    I have a sports car named ‘Bad News’. Why? Because Bad News travels fast! … Just kidding.Recommend

  • Ignorantways

    Why didn’t we cover the Punjab Youth Festival?

    instead of WE plz put ET . . Why didn’t ET cover the Punjab Youth Festival? all the time focus at other things ( no need to mention )Recommend

  • Naila

    This is quite inaccurate. Pretty much all the channels covered the festival & the numerous records made there. A few days before this event I saw a report on one of the news channels about an attempt to break largest flag Guinness record (held by India)..they even mentioned that students who are participating have been working hard during practice (which had been going on for a month). Needless to say these thousands of kids missed schools for that entire month..Record or no record I dont think thats excusable!

    Y were volunteers not encouraged instead of using students? Y weren’t these practices held after school hours?? All important questions too that the media hasn’t raised because it was focused only on the record making instead!Recommend

  • Majid

    It was certainly not covered the way it deserved. I remember we used to wait for whole on day sticking to TVs to see one Gennuiuss world record but here we have made 48 GWR but nobody knows :( ~waye nakami, mataye karwan jata raha; karwan k dil se ehsase zayan jata raha!Recommend

  • http://www.kazmi.pk Kazmi

    PYF was a graet event.
    Inclusion of Science and Enginering made it futuristic.
    Huarrah all participants . . .Recommend

  • Ali

    A record-shattering event organized by the Government of Punjab at the expense of hundreds of hours of education and millions of rupees…just before the elections. Enough said.Recommend

  • http://www.kazmi.pk Kazmi

    An hour of activity teaches more than a year of class.

    Relating everything to elections is not a right approach.Recommend

  • shuja ul islam

    i guess everybody is sad mad or glad over everything..!!Recommend

  • Ali

    It really is always about the elections. In the world of politics, a politician’s success is indexed by his power. It’s as simple as that.Recommend

  • http://www.kazmi.pk Kazmi

    I disagree with your narrow approach Ali.
    Politics is not everything in life, for you or someone else may be !

    Try to grow up, think broader :)Recommend

  • Ali

    It is my “broad” thinking that’s made me reach this conclusions. Else I’d be applauding the government and preparing myself to vote for them based on this short-term gimmick =)Recommend

  • http://www.kazmi.pk Kazmi

    You term it as short term Ali ?
    Have you seen the brillient ideas that youth came up with ?
    Alas you would have seen that your perspective would be different.
    . . . I was there and I know what it was.

    Our youth is in dier need of such opportunities to express themselves.Recommend