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Electronic Media… A “Fallacy”

by Amjad Usmani
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Amjad Usmani

A few weeks ago, a friend associated with a private TV channel said that our news channel needs some “copy editors”… If anyone knows someone, please send their CV. With gratitude, I sent the qualifications of the best editors from a newspaper…

A few days later, I asked about the progress, and they gave a surprising response… They said our “controller news” claims to be the “news expert”… I burst into laughter and said, “Oh really! I… you… and ‘Mosoof’ are also experts in news…”

This misconception of some young friends in Pakistan’s electronic media is quite amusing… It has taken the form of superiority complex or superiority illusion more than the fallacy itself… It can also be called “disguise.”

Print and electronic media… They are the “two arms” of mainstream media… and their organization in terms of news and reporting sections is similar to the 19th and 20th centuries… In newspapers, there are editors, news editors, and sub-editors, while in TV, there are news directors, news controllers, and copy editors… Technically, like news channels, newspapers also have computer systems… Like TV, every newspaper is running some kind of “software”… If there is any difference, it is in a few terms and expressions…

In newspapers, there is the headline, subheading, and body of the news… In TV, the headline is called “on-screen” and the body is called “VO” (voiceover)… In my opinion, the sub-editor of a newspaper, who can create a good news story with just two columns, can become the best copy editor after a week of training… The same goes for reporting… The reporter of a newspaper who can create a good news story can also deliver a good report after a few days of practice… which is called “live”… yes, programming has various jobs, but there is also a glimpse of the newspaper format there…

This is not a story, but an experience… It’s about the end of the year 2014. I was the news editor of Jinnah newspaper at that time. My serious journalist friend and brother Imran Yaqub called me in a slow manner. Imran Saab and I have a long-standing relationship of respect and courtesy. He said that we are planning to launch a news channel and I want to meet you. I want to seek your advice. When we met, Imran Yaqub said, “I believe that news editors and all editors have more expertise in ‘content’. I want us to hire people from newspapers for our copy and give them half a month’s training and then put them in the field. They will give better results.” I agreed with his idea a hundred percent. This channel was 92 News… Then, together, we worked on the “Imran Yaqub Formula” and hired several news editors and all editors. We trained them and launched the TV channel.

Imran Yaqoob’s formula worked wonders. The excellent content provided by 92 News gave it an edge, and within a few months, this channel climbed to the top position. In my opinion, a significant portion of the credit for the success of 92 News goes to Imran Yaqoob and his formula, which is nothing short of a media business award. If words can drive businesses, then writing and reading skills will flourish. Both my friend and I witnessed a TV channel for the first time on 92 News.

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