Stories about content

#IamParis, #IamLondon, #IamKabul, #IamManchester – but what about #IamSomalia?

I was at my desk, typing away on my laptop when my friend decided to lean in and see what I was working on. Her jaw dropped open as she read the headline: ‘Somalia to announce state of war on al Shabab’. She asks me what happened to bring this on, and I got up from my seat to let her read the news herself. After several minutes, she turned around and stared at me, stunned. “Why wasn’t this on the news?” she asked. To be honest, I ended up asking myself that very same question, and I didn’t have an answer. Positioned ...

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Nine cricket records no one remembers

Abdur Rehman, an experienced Pakistani left-arm spinner, was barred from bowling in the Asia Cup match against Bangladesh last year after he bowled three consecutive high full-tosses. After the third one, Umpire Johan Cloete suspended him from bowling and he finished with figures of 0-0-8-0, which was a new record. Abdur Rehman, for sure, was not happy after registering his name in the record book but there are some other big names of the cricketing world that have made records which they are not proud of. 1. Most ducks in ODIs: Undoubtedly, playing against Sanath Jayasuriya in the mid-90s was nothing less than ...

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Losing our religion one Ramazan transmission at a time

While browsing through channels after iftar yesterday, I realised that my TV screen had been taken over by multiple Ramazan transmissions airing on different (read: every) channel. Although the ‘shows’ have been airing questionable content for some time now, this year they seemed to have taken it up a notch. Previously, such transmissions comprised of learned religious scholars who would discuss Islamic issues and answer audience questions pertaining to religious teaching. This would be followed by a recitation of a naat or a dua, and the transmission would be over by iftar time. No shenanigans, no games, no quizzes – a simple programme on ...

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Cheeekh-Speak Up: Plagiarism in the name of ‘freedom of expression’

Freedom of speech is a much touted phenomenon in the society today. However, along with this freedom comes the responsibility to recognise original content as well as the conscientious use of someone else’s opinion. Surfing on the internet one day, I came across a post shared on Facebook by a non-profit organisation called Cheeekh-Speak Up. Skimming through, I was shocked to see a post from my personal blog site published there as a contribution. What was even more appalling was that it had been published without any credit or link to my page, making it seem as if I myself had contributed ...

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Pakistani media should learn something from India’s Satyamev Jayate

Hypocrisy is one of Pakistan’s most wide-spread epidemics. The channel, which defamed and criticised a respectable educationist for ‘corrupting the youth’ of Pakistan by imparting sex education, occasionally airs inappropriate content full of sexual references during prime time. How exactly are we supposed to explain to our children what rape, ziyadti (dishonour), prostitution and najaiz jinsi taluqaat (inappropriate sexual relations) are when they hear these words on TV? Not only is the timing inapt but sometimes, it is also the content. Most of the channels have identical programs in which they ‘expose’ selected evils of the society. Some months ago, a channel aired a story about a ...

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Pakistan imports illegal Dish TV from India but refuses to rid itself of ancient cable operators?

How many of us have exclaimed with joy and literally hooted at the following sentence, at least once in their lifetime? “Oh, great! Xyz channel aagaya!”  (Oh great! Xyz channel is available now!) Honestly, I have seen this reaction every time a cable operator tunes in any channel which he had previously stopped running without any prior notice and schedule. I am sure any and every Pakistani has experienced this, whether they reside in the urban areas, suburbs or the unincorporated villages. The sole cause of this problem is the existence of the TV cable industry, which we still have in use, while this technology has been replaced across the globe ...

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WWE Universe Night of Champions 2013 event: The most exciting event in WWE history!

The WWE Universe Night of Champions 2013 event was arguably the most happening event in recent WWE history. Do not be fooled, the title has no typos, there were many championships that were contested but an obvious victory has been highlighted. The following article is opinion based and contains bias, spoilers and debatable content. The Shield is still on fire! The Shield members participated in individual and cooperative matches that involved them defending their titles. In the Tag Team Championship bout, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins faced the Prime Time Players (Titus O’Neil and Darren Young). Young had been in the ...

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PEMRA, banning an ad on contraception makes no sense

From banning websites over blasphemous content to the recent ban on the advertisement for contraception, Pakistan seems to be headed in the wrong direction. The problem at hand is not just the ban, but the authority that the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has assumed – the power to ban anything. As a citizen of this country, I have a few concerns. Where exactly is democracy and our right to the freedom of speech? Pemra is abusing its power here. They are banning content on the internet based on what they find inappropriate. However, this content may not actually be inappropriate but educational. Additionally, they can’t install filters to block ‘immoral’ and ...

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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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Facebook: Think before you ‘like’

Back in 2010, when Facebook first introduced a ‘like’ button as a way for people to ‘give positive feedback or to connect with things you care about on Facebook, it forever changed the meaning of the word; or at least, for its 850 million or so active users. Ten years ago, who would have thought regular people like you and I would exist so publicly online? We use our real names on social networks to share our lives with loved ones, openly show political support, voice our opinions without a second thought, upload pictures of the most important occasions of ...

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