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Friday, July 15, 2011

"Good News" from Pakistan?

While taking a Korean language course this summer, we all had an assignment to share a piece of "NEWS" from our country with fellow students. Project seemed easy & in 30 minutes we had to come up with the most recent news & do a presentation. As we all know that Pakistan has more than its fair share of BAD NEWS in almost all the spheres of society and economy but still I thought, I must highlight a "story of hope".

When I looked up into our major Pakistani newspapers - I realized that 'news' to them is something that must have the following key words: accussed, killed, deaths, bombs, terrorism, taliban, army, military, suicide attacks, rape, distruction, disaters, disengagement, kidnapped, ransom, harrassement, confrontaions and the list goes on...!

There was NOT a single story covered by Pakistani media that I could throw in a category of "hope, reconciliation, unity, nationhood or nationalism" - it was extremely frustrating! I looked at Pakistan's country profile on BBC News website and I found the words: domestic political upheavels and regional confrontations.

By chance a fellow classmate/friend stopped by, who is also a professor at the University of Philippines (UP) and he asked what I was working at? He offered me to help & when both of us started our search for a 'good news' which equates to something inspirational or about hope...well, we almost failed...he said that his country also has a lot of problems and so have all others but the extent to which Pakistani media is covering it & the gross pictures and filming of the event is definitely detrimental for the country per se.

There is no dearth of 'goodnews' in Pakistan but I wish that media had given it the importance, it rightly deserve. These stories are insiring but of course are not sansationalizing (media's priority). I wish I could highlight the stories of bravery of all those men, women and families who have battled catstrophic floods in Pakistan last year, which resulted in the deaths of thousands, more than 20 million people were directly hit and one fifth of the country was under water. There was no hope, no home and no answers for these people and they were quoted over and over again that their only hope is God!

Pakistan has to muddle through these tough times because there is no other way out. Doing so won't make us the first country ever....there are many other countries who have gone through rough times but their people stand united and media covered stories of hope. Media's constant coverage on issues affects our hearts and minds and in turn, impact our lives and lifestyles! In my opinion, there is a heavy responsibily on print and electronic media to do "responsible journalism". We desperately need some constructive, inspiring and moving stories that are always takng place in the midst of disasters when men and women are challenged to the core! I think that it is about time that Pakistani media should let go their obsession with 'Breaking News Phenomenon'.....it has broken the back of our nation and each and everyone of us!

By the way, I chose a story of a woman from Punjab, who has been given a small piece of land in Barani areas and highlighted how her life has changed in many ways.


  1. Hi Sarah,
    How are you doing?
    I'm glad that you frequently blogs about Pakistan which has peaked my curiosity definitely. Keep up the good work and InsyaAllah, we will meet someday and would love to hear more about Pakistan from you.

  2. Hello Zarina,
    Thank you for the comments & yeah, I look forward to seeing you in Korea ;-)
    At the same time, I would like to say that you must have Pakistan in your travelling list...you will enjoy every moment of it!