Stories about journalism

The Information Mystery: Is PTI caught in social media’s spinning web?

The current Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government seems to be at crossroads once again as debate on media and press freedom takes a dark turn with each statement spurred by the Information Ministry headed by Fawad Chaudhry. Speaking at an event recently, Chaudhry warned media houses that “their current model would not last long if they didn’t change their ways”. Rather than appearing to be an advice from the concerned federal authority, it seemed to be soaked in threatening tones. “The news media wants government advertisements and sponsorship, but what would happen to its freedom if the media looks up to the ...

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From APS to Sahiwal: Does Pakistani media have an empathy problem?

Humans are not naturally empathetic creatures – a primary reason behind cataclysmic wars, the rise in extra-judicial killings, as well as the growing hostility towards people escaping calamities. As the world spirals into chaos, the ability to consciously acknowledge the condition of individuals undergoing distress and mentally processing their misery has nearly vanished. But then again, did such an ability exist to begin with?  There is a silent conflict between those struck by a persisting crisis and those privileged enough to smoothly slither their way out of it unscathed. Humans are prone to living completely autonomous lives, but it seems ...

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Imran Khan or Ayub Khan: Is PMRA the new tool to curb freedom of press and control media?

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) government in the centre recently approved the formation of a new regulatory body, known as the Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority (PMRA). From now, all media, including print, electronic and social, will be simultaneously regulated by this newly established body. Organisations such as the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), and the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) have already disapproved of the formation of the PMRA and have cautioned against it, terming it an attack on the freedom of press and expression. The PFUJ categorically rejected the PMRA and termed it ...

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This win is not just for Acosta but for all journalists purged for freedom of speech and press

As journalism comes under threat in all parts of the world, one is forced to question the role of the ruling governments in the treatment of media and its personnel. Hundreds are being fired in Pakistan, being told “their services are no longer required” as part of a downsizing. However, journalists in the United States face different hostilities. A CNN White House (WH) correspondent, Jim Acosta was recently humiliated in the US for asking President Donald Trump questions on his campaign regarding the midterm elections in the country. Following the elections, the president orchestrated a news conference to address the ...

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Fictitious yet familiar, ‘Typically Tanya’ narrates life in Karachi and all its dramas

I enjoyed reading the book Typically Tanya by Taha Kehar, one of Pakistan’s most exciting new writers, not just because it’s a book about journalists but because it is a book about life in Karachi, along with all its dramas. Whether it’s the frustrations of finding a Careem to the disappointments that come with power blackouts, it’s all there. Typically Tanya is the story about a young journalist named Tanya Shaukat who is trying to make sense of her work and at the same time coming to terms with her unpredictable life and friends. When the marriage of one friend fails ...

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Journalism vs sensationalism: The Front Runner explores how the media can make or break a politician

In the era we live in today, we have made peace with the fact that no matter where we are or what we do, we are surrounded by the media. Politicians in particular have a love-hate relationship with the media, a relationship that clearly leans more towards the ‘hate’ aspect. The media’s job is to keep a close eye – perhaps too close – on politicians, especially since they never match up to the public’s expectations, which in turn is why politicians hate the media. The media will call its constant hounding and meddling ‘journalism’, while the politicians call ...

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Shujaat Bukhari: The saner voice in a place where insanity prevails

On Thursday evening, barely a day before Eidul Fitr, senior and most respected journalist Shujaat Bukhari was killed just outside his office in Press Enclave, Srinagar. Bukhari was the editor-in-chief of English daily Rising Kashmir published from Srinagar I was not far away from where the incident occurred. I was in the newsroom, where I along with rest of the staff was working on Friday’s edition of our newspaper when we heard gunshots. Panic gripped us, but one of my colleagues mentioned that it couldn’t have been gunshots, Eid was nearing, and maybe kids were out playing with firecrackers. Thinking ...

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Why was Bilalwal Bhutto Zardari, a politician, sharing his limited views on “fake news” and journalism when he knows nothing about it?

By now, the news of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s short, yet significant trip to Davos has reached the ears of every Pakistani. However, not many are aware of the discussions or sessions that he has both co-hosted and participated in as a panellist. The only people who applauded his views which he shared at the World Economic Forum (WEF) were his party loyalists, who seem to revere everything that revolves around the young Bhutto, whether it is his flawed Urdu or raw opinions on his opponents, which are marvelously sugarcoated by his flamboyance and soft English accent. This charisma is ...

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Silencing the ink: Gauri Lankesh, a fearless journalist of courage

Gauri Lankesh’s Facebook profile picture that features Rohith Vemula, with the caption ‘Punish the culprits’, gives you an idea of the kind of person she was – fearless. Posted by Gauri Lankesh on Monday, January 18, 2016 The 55-year-old senior journalist was shot dead outside her residence in Ideal Home Layout in Rajarajeswari Nagar, Bengaluru, late yesterday evening. Not one to soften the blows Lankesh was known for her radical views and was gutsy about embracing ideologies that were not very compatible with the powers that be. She was not one to soften her blows using a velvet glove while her approach to everything in life ...

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Not all Indians are rapists just like not all Pakistanis are terrorists

As a Pakistani, I always thought of the Indian media as anti-Pakistani and excessively nationalistic. So when I recently got the opportunity to work with Indian journalists, I was not sure what to expect. I was on my way to London for the Chevening/South Asia Journalism Fellowship. The program brought 17 leading journalists from Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and the Maldives to live and work together in London for two months. Getting off the plane at Heathrow Airport, I wondered what it would be like to have a frank conversation with an Indian journalist. India is almost four times the size of Pakistan, yet their news media seem to be obsessed ...

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