Tragic demise of a newspaper
This is to mourn sudden and unceremonious demise of the only surviving English eveninger “Daily News” published from Karachi under auspices of the leading Jang Group of Newspapers.
Other two English eveningers “The Star” of Dawn Group and “Leader” had ceased publication in 2007 and “Leader” was bought by a commercial party which was reportedly publishing it now and then as a commercial business sheet and not as a newspaper as such. At the time of their demises, evening “The Star” was being edited by Mr Kamal Majidullah and “Leader” by veteran journalist Syed Manzarul Hassan.
Daily News had started its publication as a third English eveninger from Karachi, from where couple of Urdu eveninger including “Nai Roshni” were also being published ceasing their publications one after the other due to low market demands on October 17, 1962 Its tragic demise occurred on December 17, 2018 after it was breathing its last on a ventilator for some years.
Over the years, its pages were gradually reduced, colour printed pages stopped and columns and articles by prominent writers also discontinued. All these steps by the management one after the other resulted in Daily News losing its popularity and circulation gradually.
Mr Shamim Ahmad was the first Editor of Daily News when it had started publication and Mr S.M.Fazal was its last Editor when it tragically ceased publication. He had assumed the editorship of Daily News sometime in 1990.
In between the editorship of Mr Shamim Ahmad and Mr S.M.Fazal, Daily News was edited by number of known figures of journalism realm for varying period of duration by Khwaja Ibtisam Ahmad, Mr Zamir Niazi,Zamir Siddiqui, Wajid Shamsul Hassan, Muhammad Jami, and Afaq Ahmed.
During a leisure trip to Karachi sometime in 1980, I had visited the offices of Daily News where I had the opportunity of meeting Mr Wajid Shamsul Hassan as the Editor and Mr S.M.Fazal, Tanvir Ahmad, Muhammad Jami, Qutubuddin and Kamran Khan who was working as the Crime Report of the English eveninger.
The visit so undertaken and discussions that took place then with the Editor and other Editorial members marked the beginning of my long association with Daily News which somehow ended about ten years or so back.
I had started writing articles, features as well as contributing exclusive and spot stories to Daily News from Lahore under a pseudonym. I was paid on contribution basis every month initially low but gradually going upward somewhat serving as a supplementary income for my family.
Throughout my long association, I kept receiving guidance firstly by Mr Wajid Shamsul Hassan, who was very close to Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, till he had stepped down as the Editor on his posting as Pakistan High Commissioner to Britain in London and then by his successor S. M .Fazal. In all fairness and as a matter of fact, the guidance so received from both of them from time to time greatly helped me in the improvement of my writing articles on politics and current affairs, show business, features etc as well as stories.
During my over six decade’s long practical career as a journalist and columnist, I have seen rise and fall of many newspapers throughout these years. My career as a journalist , quite interestingly had started as a school and college student , from Urdu daily “Nawa-e-Waqt” in Lyallpur (since baptized as Faisalabad) in late 50s and is continuing in Lahore with the continued blessings of Almighty Allah one way or the other since 1960 when my family had migrated from Lyallpur to Lahore following my father Shaikh Muhammad Yaqub expiring on suffering heart attack just two month and 13 days in August 1960 after his retirement as the Deputy Collection (Canals), there.
I have written this short obituary of Daily News because of my long, practical and friendly association with it. I may dilate on other newspapers rise and fall some other time.