Stories about Geo

Mind your language: Chal Parha’s take on language in schools

Chal Parha is a brilliant TV show, recently launched on Geo, hosted by Shehzad Roy to reform the government education system in Pakistan. The second episode was a thought provoking insight into the issue of the language of instruction in Pakistani schools. The episode looked at the emotional trauma and turmoil children face when they are forced to learn or communicate in languages which are completely foreign or alien to them, in our case these being Urdu and English. It does not only cause confusion in the minds of the students, but may eventually lead to a loss in self-confidence and the ability to express themselves, ...

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How much do you hate Pakistan’s media?

Keeping lists of all aspects of Pakistani activity on Facebook is a manic hobby of mine. I consider myself the tracker of the totality of our online diaspora, which is best represented on Facebook (8 million Pakistanis and growing fast). One list that has been very consistently growing and producing content is my (rather plainly dubbed) Pakistan Media Haters list. Over the last two years I have been diligently adding pages that spew hate (i.e. irrational, cherry-picked critique with dollops of venom, lies, incitement to violence and racism) against the local media. I have also tried to decipher where these pages ...

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‘Faiz is a hat?’

For those who do not know (and that number is growing) November 20 is the death anniversary of one of Urdu’s great intellectuals and poets, Faiz Ahmad Faiz. Sadly, the man and his body of work have become increasingly irrelevant for many Pakistanis, including myself. Conversation in the newsroom Me (upon spotting the story on a local news site): “Guys, today is the death anniversary of Faiz – are we covering it?” (Clueless) subeditor: “Isn’t Faiz a hat?” Yes, Fez is a hat. And yes, Faiz has been reduced to token mentions in the print media or online (“Today is Faiz’ birth or ...

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Aamir Liaquat: The second coming

Remember when Superman lost his life in a war against the seemingly unstoppable alien, Doomsday, in order to defend Metropolis? Except it turned out that he hadn’t really died and instead was actually just recharging in a Kryptonian regeneration mix for a few months so that he could return – fully alive and functional (notwithstanding that terribly embarrassing mullet). Now, Pakistan’s Ramadan hero, Dr Aamir Liaquat, will be joining the ranks of famed second comebacks so favored by comic books and holy scriptures. Yes, the rumor mill got it right this time around. Liaquat, who has often fallen from grace in the ...

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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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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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Print is dead, long live news

In case you missed the story, the media world is changing, and print news is dying. Given that I work in English print in a country where even the last English TV channel standing was forced to shut down, this should be a terrifying thought. I’m not the only one who is scared however – so is the New York Times (NYT). Watching Page One: Inside the New York Times, a documentary focusing on the NYT’s struggle to stay relevant and adapt to a rapidly changing media landscape is like a glimpse into ...

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Telefilm: The true story of Naseem Hameed

I applaud a tele-film “Bhaag Amina Bhaag!” which was recently aired on Geo Entertainment. The play is a tribute to Naseem Hameed, the Pakistani athlete who became the fastest woman in South Asia when she won a gold medal in a 100-metre event. Amina, played by Amna Sheikh, is not like any average teenage girl growing up in a low income area. She is bold, gutsy and naughty as hell. She grows up surrounded by boys – three brothers and her childhood friend and neighbor a handicapped boy – and gains all the traits of a tomboy. She is completely unaware ...

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The day I got fired from Dunya News

According to a BBC Urdu report, nearly 300 journalists have lost their jobs in 2010. Yesterday, my husband and I became a part of this statistic. Our contracts were terminated without warning and without notice and the reason given to us was that the company was being “restructured” and according to the new model our posts had been dissolved. While the financial crisis has led to constant downsizing, money is not the only reason for heartlessly firing trusted old employees. In most cases, simple structural changes spell disasters for middle tier staff. Of course, no one expects something like this to happen. ...

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The sky falls in Islamabad

A little later than 2:30 a.m. I am too sleepy to be coherent but am grumble randomly nonetheless. The hubby is watching Prince of Persia and barely bothers to nod at my chatter. When the bed starts shaking, both of us initially blame each other. But then, we see the lights swinging and realization strikes. An earthquake – and from the way it feels, a pretty severe one. The shock hardly lasts a couple of seconds but we rush outside. A couple of dogs bark, a cat cries, but all is quiet otherwise. No one else seems to be up at this late hour ...

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