International media APP asked to counter anti-Pakistan propaganda
Standing Committee of National Assembly on Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage has directed the Managing Director (MD) Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) to take necessary measures to tackle the negative propaganda against Pakistan in the international media.
The Standing Committee gave these directions after a comprehensive briefing by the Management of Associated Press of Pakistan. The committee which met under the chairmanship of Pir Muhammad Aslam Bodla also asked the national news agency to adopt innovative techniques to reduce its reliance on budgetary grants from the government.
Members of the committee also strongly condemned Cricketer Shahid Afridi’s statement regarding cricketing talent in Pakistan. They expressed serious anger over the statement of Afridi, saying that he should not have given such a statement that there is no cricket talent left in Pakistan and that he should have acted responsibly while giving this derogatory statement.
Members were of the view that Pakistan possesses incredible talent in cricket, Afridi should better be careful while giving such statements. Committee members further said that such statements are demoralising and lowering morale of our youth. The committee appreciated the performance of APP for providing credible and authentic news to masses, however, observed that despite having trained intellectual and technical human resource, it should reorganise itself and adopt innovative strategy to advance as a self-reliant and revenue generating entity.
The committee also asked the APP Management to introduce Human Resource Development System to train its Human Resource. MD APP gave a comprehensive briefing about the organisational structure, budget, human resource and equipment at APP headquarters in Islamabad. He said that video news service which was formally launched in October 2015 is well-positioned to cater to the needs of news channels. This is a major leap forward, expanding and enhancing the agency’s role in the national media by providing clean feed on major developments and important events to the electronic media organisations within the country and abroad.
The agency has transformed its website making it professionally more vibrant as important multi-lingual news reports, photos and VNS footage are promptly placed on it through fast updating mechanism. The website, which serves as a reservoir of latest news as well as archive of transmitted news, is frequented by thousands of individuals and organisations, particularly Pakistani missions abroad, which is reflective of its professional significance.
Important news are also translated in Arabic language which are not only placed on the website but are also transmitted to the print and electronic media of the Arab World. Another important feature of the APP professional working is extensive monitoring of major local and foreign news channels and the news based on this exercise captures tangible space in the newspapers on perennial basis.
APP has news exchange agreements with 37 Foreign News Agencies under which bouquet of important news is transmitted to them on daily basis with an aim to showcasing Pakistan’s point of view on regional and international affairs, he added. MD also apprised the committee of structuring, introduction of modern technology and future plans for making the News Agency more vibrant. He informed the committee that APP was cognisant of its responsibilities and was very effectively providing counter narrative to the propaganda against Pakistan in International Press.
Print and pictorial news service of APP unabatedly wrest prominent space in the national and regional English, Urdu, Sindhi and Pashto papers, he said. He informed the committee about APP’s special correspondents posted at key destinations abroad including Washington, New York, London, Beijing and New Delhi, who are making effective contribution towards promoting country’s image and stance on various national and regional issues in their true perspective.
The meeting was attended by MNAs, Malik Shakir Bashir Awan, Mian Muhammad Farooq, Waseem Akhtar Shaikh, Parveen Masood Bhatti, Arifa Khalid Parvez, Syed Amir Ali Shah Jamote, Belum Hasnain, Murad Saeed, Muhammad Azhar Khan Jadoon, Naeema Kishwer Khan, Additional Secretary M/o Information Broadcasting and National Heritage, Managing Director, APP and other senior officers of departments concerned.