Stories about journalism

A call to arms

This was the first-ever, proper job I’ve ever had (disregarding a traumatising internship during my sophomore year in college). And, as is the case with people at their first-ever jobs, I remember stepping into these offices full of heady optimism and a desire to change the world (every seasoned journalist reading this just rolled their eyes). My stint at this newspaper has taught me much more. One of the things I’ve come to strongly believe is that every literate, educated Pakistani ought to walk a few miles in a journalist’s shoes. (One of the other things I’ve learnt is that heady optimism is best ...

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Political cartoonist: When reality just isn’t good enough!

Cartoons have been a standing feature of print media as well as an illustrative means of providing comic relief. With the evolution of participatory democracy, cartoons have evolved into political comment and are also an instrument of social debate. The advent of camera photography transformed print journalism, however, photographs could not be given the same creative and commentary aspects that cartoons possess. Cartoons are considered an irreverent description of the artist’s understanding of a certain social or political situation. The insolence of the brush draws out laughter from the readers but paints the leaders and the decision makers on the wrong ...

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Journalism – the worst career?

Besides the usual 140 characters of political, financial, emotional and otherwise, raving and ranting that goes on on Twitter, including my own, I recently came across a tweet that read something along the lines of ‘newspaper reporting ranked as the worst job of 2013’. Sure.  A mighty revelation indeed! As it turns out, it wasn’t just a figment of my imagination after all. Those long endless, and almost of no avail, debates of how overworked, underpaid and over-stressed reporters were, finally made sense. Only, what intrigued me the most was a tweet, by a fellow reporter, which was not a random ...

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Follow your passion: How I became a sports journalist

In 2007, as my ‘A’-level exams were nearing an end, I was confronted with that inevitable question: what to do in life? That’s when I began to assess my options. Engineering wasn’t my cup of tea. I’d be having a laugh if I thought of becoming a doctor. What was I left with? The ‘easiest’ option available: pursuing a BBA degree. Till the time I got into a business school, my life had been a roller-coaster ride as far as choosing a career was concerned. There was a time when I wanted to become an aeronautical engineer. Then, physics happened ...

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You can’t be a journalist, you’re a woman!

“This is not the right field for a woman”, he said, with an impudence that seemed at odds with his otherwise timid appearance. He offered his two cents, “advice” he called it, as if delivered with nothing but my best interest in mind. “Why don’t you go into TV or reporting?” Being a woman, with any kind of unique ambition in Pakistan, comes with the stigma of rebellion. Women, however, are no longer choosing their occupational roles based on societal expectations. There are now female taxi-drivers, camera operators, police force employees and photojournalists — and while this shows the progress the country ...

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Writing versus editing: What’s your pick?

As a writer and editor, I have a tough time deciphering what I like doing more: writing something from scratch, with my name under the headline, and the promise of a growing readership? Or ripping someone else’s work to shreds and rebuilding the story. Writing is like making a dish from scratch (not reporting, where you basically state facts): you choose the ingredients and the recipe. You are responsible for the end result. The credit is yours as is the criticism. But editing is like fixing somebody’s half-cooked dish. You can renovate it, rebuild it. You can add a ...

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Aapas Ka CM: Welcome Najam Sethi!

Much has been said on social and traditional media over Najam Sethi’s appointment as caretaker Chief Minister of Punjab. A number of people have welcomed his appointment while quite a few thought it was a bad idea – a journalist being appointed to a position of power would put a question mark on their integrity. I, for one, believe that Najam Sethi’s appointment as the caretaker chief minister Punjab is a great idea! He is a largely unbiased person who has time and time again proven his integrity as a journalist and a political analyst. He is on good terms with all political parties due ...

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News, nights and nightmares…

Pakistan. Pkaistan. No! What? Did I just spell my country’s name wrong? Oh wait. No, I not only spelled it wrong, I printed it wrong. Printed it wrong on a newspaper — a national daily newspaper. The entire country is laughing at me. My career is over. I’m switching my phone off. Hibernation. When I wake up, I try to gather the strength to pull myself out of bed. It’s 4:30am. I go outside my apartment door and there is no newspaper. I take a sigh of relief and then I’m simply angry at myself. How can a rational human being let one dream, ...

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When your husband is also a reporter

By tying the knot with a fellow reporter next month, who is equally passionate about work as I am; I would be committing myself to journalism for life, and surely for eternity. This means that arguments and discussions between a husband and wife might entail, ‘I didn’t like your intro!’ or ‘Why didn’t you add colour to your story’ or ‘Your question in the press conference was really dumb’. This implies that the happy moments between a husband and a wife would be basking in the glory of having one’s story printed on the front page of the newspaper, and smiling endlessly to the positive feedback ...

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Is being unemployed better than being employed?

My life has taken a 360 degree turn and I am still grappling with huge adjustments – adjustments like the fact that I cannot stay logged onto Facebook incessantly or the centre of the universe for me is no longer my mood. After aeons of freelance work, where I could shuffle and manage work according to my own whims and desires, I am now working full-time. Regular eight hours a day, six days a week. Strangely enough, I am surviving. Not only am I surviving, the fact that my body clock had to re-start to a new schedule, I now find myself dosing off ...

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