Stories about journalists

Indian journalist burnt alive: The price of doing your job right

Life – that’s the price one may have to pay for doing one’s job the way it is supposed to be done. On May 5th, a female aganwadi (children’s play group) worker was gang raped in India’s Uttar Pradesh. The woman had pleaded with the court to register an FIR against the accused minister, Ram Murti Verma. That is when a Shahjahanpur-based journalist, Jagendra Singh, decided to highlight the gory incident and did whatever he could to get the story of the rape victim across. India is ranked 13th on the Committee to Protect Journalist’s (CPJ) Annual Impunity Index, which spotlights countries where journalists are ...

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Forbes’ list of influential women: Are Pakistani women not good enough?

We are a nation of contradictions. We are a nation that goes to watch Bollywood movies on the weekend and during the weekday, we like to blame RAW for terrorism. We are a nation where everyone has high sounding degrees but when we’re standing on the road, we won’t be bothered to find a trashcan. Then we blame the government for not cleaning up after us. We are a nation that spends hundreds of thousands of rupees on our weddings but refuse to pay even minimum wage to underage labourers that we love to boss/beat around. We are a nation that is ...

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Are we a nation of Taliban apologists?

During his talk about terror and extremism in Pakistan, Mohammad Jibran Nasir declared, “I am not a cultural ambassador. I am not here to talk about bhangra.” The point was well taken since he was in the middle of a hard-hitting presentation about the terror threat in Pakistan and was not holding back his punches. Clad in a white shalwar kurta with a Pakistani flag pinned to his lapel, Nasir clearly does not equate patriotism with denial. Photo: Jibran Nasir He emphasised that while we are not all Taliban apologists, our society has become a breeding ground for terrorists. He is on an extensive tour of ...

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PTI won the battle but can it win the NA-125 war?

The judicial commission set up to investigate the legitimacy of the votes casted in NA-125 has decided that there shall be a re-vote in the constituency. Shah Mehmood Qureshi deems this as one of the first steps towards a Naya Pakistan under Imran Khan. After the revelation, Khwaja Saad Rafique was found defending himself in front of reporters and journalists, blaming the returning officers of the seven polling stations where the irregularities in vote count were found. While these politicians blame each other face front, their parties have already begun deciding candidates for the empty seat. The war between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) ...

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Is Pakistan and China’s friendship really that strong?

The rhetoric is sweeter than honey, even if the friendship isn’t. Lip service between China and Pakistan is higher than the Himalayas, deeper than the oceans, and the likes. It is also as absurd as it is untrue. With our public space consumed by such meaningless analogies, especially in the backdrop of the ‘historic’ visit of the Chinese president, I can’t help but recall a recent trip to the country. Listening to the linguistic gymnastics of both governments, one can be forgiven for forgetting how different the two countries are and, more ominously, how little Pakistan fares in the overall Chinese ...

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For love of the printed word

In the summer of 2010, a colleague brought a new newspaper to work. The workplace had a number of publications coming in but this one made an immediate impact. The type face was bold, the pictures vibrant with colour and the stories were fresh. It was sassy without being saucy and with enough hard hitting content to make me read it cover to cover in one go. The newspaper was The Express Tribune (ET) and fast becoming the young reader’s choice. The reasons were obvious. Compared to the staid fare ladled out by competing newspapers, The Express Tribune was talking about issues prevalent but ...

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Day 1 of Fashion Pakistan Week from the backrow

When you sit all the way in the fashion “dungeon” or what is affectionately called “the back row”, you notice and hear a lot of things you would not normally know or hear about while sitting all the way in the front. None of it has anything to do with the actual show. That is because your view of the runway is usually obstructed by a lady who decides to Empire State out her hair that day. The front rowers smoothly click, swipe, post on 10 different social platforms in a matter of seconds. You get up excitedly to shoot from your Chinese ...

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Can journalists be opinionated on Twitter?

The events taking place around us affect our feelings, which as a result, affect our conversations throughout our normal lives. Since August, the prolonged Azadi march has been affecting the feelings of average Pakistanis on the road. Being associated to the data-mining and text-mining field, I carried out a little experiment to explore the sentiments of Pakistani journalists who are reporting current events in Pakistan. I took journalists as my test subjects as ordinary people generally take their (journalists’) opinions seriously and even adopt them as their own. But according to the journalism objectivity principle, these journalists should remain impartial and convey only facts without ...

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Balochistan, a tale of singular narratives

My fellow journalist, Irshad Ahmed Mastoi Baloch, was killed in broad daylight at his office in Quetta. He was one, of few, brave journalists who would criticise the establishment’s unjust policies towards Balochistan. His fellow trainee reporter, Abdul Ghulam Rasool, and a serving accountant, Mohammed Younus, also lost their lives in the incident. I cannot believe or understand how an incident of this magnitude could have occurred in a sovereign, democratic country. He was doing his job, work that he was hired to do and obviously doing well. But he was, they were all, killed for merely performing their professional obligations. The ...

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Is my tax money funding your political advertisement?

Open any newspaper and you’ll find government advertisements – be it provincial or federal – flashing their on-going or upcoming projects. The best term I could come up with for this exercise of self-promotion is ‘political advertising’, meant for boosting a politician’s profile or a junior level politician behaving like a sycophant for his party boss. The phenomenon cuts through all political parties and ideologies, and affects all forms of media, print or electronic. Such adverts are often used to serve party politics rather than public policy. The incumbent government spends the most on such commercials, which explains why the government’s budget for advertising is ...

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