Quality, independent Urdu reporting needed, say celebrities and notables -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Quality, independent Urdu reporting needed, say celebrities and notables

KARACHI: There is more to life than what other local Urdu newspapers report. “Unfortunately, they have not been able to maintain quality and I hope that ‘Aaj Kal’ will fill in the gaps,” said Mishi Khan during the launch of ‘Aaj Kal’, a new Urdu daily newspaper, in Karachi Thursday.

IBA Associate Professor and international affairs analyst Huma Baqai said that she felt the newspaper would be a good change. “The electronic media is influencing the market so there is a need to launch this newspaper. There is a need for good writers and, maintaining objectivity is also a challenge,” she said. “The media had been restored but it is not free. It’s a reflection of what goes around in society and, at times, it is penalized for doing so.”

Columnist Ardeshir Cowasjee said that he felt the media was much wider and more independent than it was in the past. “There is no need for another newspaper in the market, but, if a quality newspaper is launched then it could turn out be a well-selling product,” Cowasjee opined. He believed that, during Pervez Musharraf’s regime, around 88 channels were launched and, “what more could one expect?” He also mentioned that Musharraf was criticized on occasion but all those channels and newspapers were still there.

Orient Advertising CEO Syed Masood Hashmi was of the view that a new Urdu publication was needed provided it would not compromise on quality. “It seems like the market is saturated but it isn’t,” Hashmi said. He also said that, like its English counterpart, ‘Aaj Kal’ would ensure quality as well.

Honorary Consul General of the Kingdom of Morocco Mirza Ishtiaq Baig congratulated the ‘Aaj Kal’ team on its launch. “I am sure the professional team of the media house will ensure the quality and facts that are supposed to come with real journalism,” Baig hoped, adding that he felt that the freedom of the media existed to some extent. He also suggested the newspaper cover diplomatic missions and cultural activities in order to maintain an exchange.

Caretaker Provincial Minister for Education Mirza Shujaat Baig said that there was no need to launch a newspaper, but, due to the increasing number of readers, it was not a bad idea. “In such times, a new newspaper with standards is a good sign, and it would have an impact on the ‘box office’,” he hoped. For example, when ‘Daily Times’ was launched the number of subscribers was low, he said. But after a while it became one of the leading newspapers in the nation, he added.

Legendary singer Mehdi Hassan Khan Saheb said that launching a newspaper that would address people’s issues was a good decision.

The media has become quite independent, but there is a lot more space left for it to grow – independently speaking, he added.
Source: Daily Times
Date:2/15/2008