July 19, 2012
Hit a writer’s block today. Just could not decide on what to write. The words refused to stick until my friend called me and said, “Why don’t you do a Veena story?”
Well I’m not a Veena person so I couldn’t care less. I said, “What is there to write about her that has not already been done by our senior journalists and a million bloggers. The news about her Ramadan program is old etc. etc.”
“Just look at it this way; suppose she had not been a celebrity what would be the scenario… what would you see her as?”
“She already has plenty of voyeurs, some virtual, some otherwise, some old, some new. Surely she doesn’t need another.”
“What if she had been a journalist… an editor,” my friend conjectured.
What if she had, what if…
• She would have a custom built office with built in spotlights and cameras for those important moments. After all she would be the ‘Big Boss’
• She would employ a full-time make-up artist.
• There would be no other female journalist in the office.
• Only she would have the right to wear skin-colored clothes
• Every day there would be a story about her on front page.
• Nusrat Javed would be in charge of her fan following and write her blog and Facebook posts.
• Dr Amir Liaquat would not be allowed on the premises.
• During Ramadan she would not work.
• RAW agents would be lurking about in the vicinity of her newspaper.
• As their pin-up girl, so would the ISI.
• The other employees of the office would always have autograph books ready.
• Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan, the Bachans and others would frequent the office.
• There would be a red carpet leading to her office.
• The sports editor would emphatically be told not to carry any story about Mohammed Asif, the cricketer.
• No maulvis or muftis would be allowed into the office.
• No actresses would be allowed into the office.
• No comedians would be allowed; the only jokes to be cracked would be by Veena.
• She would have a website called B’alima.online
• Riaz Malik would gift her with Rs2 crore, a 10 acre plot in Islamabad + Mercedes + farm +…
• CDA would gift her with a magnificent khoka outside PIMS.
• Matiullah Jan would not be allowed near her office.
• She would have her own talk show on TV.
• She would be an analyst and expert on current affairs… no big deal; all one has to do is shout and scream and, of course, everything is rehearsed.
• She would be invited by the PM to all junkets to Washington, the UK and Saudi Arabia.
• There would have been a 20th name on the ‘List of 19’.
• Her newspaper would get more ads than they could handle.
• She would sack the marketing team and take charge.
• Employees would have to refer to her as ‘Maam’. The word ‘Madam’ would be prohibited.
• Fashion designers would be allowed access to her office anytime.
• She would attend office daily for only one hour.
• She would not have a secretary, but an agent.
• She would not write an editorial; that would be done by Nusrat too.
• The lead story on any given day could be about topless tops or not…
• Anybody who disagrees with her could face a libel case.
• There would be only one ‘hero’ in her life and it would not be a man.
• Bollywood music would be played on the office PA system and elevators.
• The newsroom would have pink walls and red velvet sofas.
• The entire staff would have to keep all Rozas.
(The views expressed by the writer are not necessarily those of JournalismPakistan.com)
Pakistan Observer, October 31, 2016
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A study conducted by JournalismPakistan.com and Communications Research Strategies on the economic situation of slain journalists' families and journalists displaced due to security threats.