December 23, 2019
ISLAMABAD — The closing down of BBC’s flagship news program – Sairbeen – after five decades has evoked nostalgia on social media as the people remembered how the families would wait for the program for the latest news.
Javed Soomro, who works for BBC, felt honored to be associated with Sairbeen. He tweeted: “BBC Urdu’s radio program Sairbeen ending on December 31. This was the BBC’s flagship broadcast for Pakistan for over seven decades. I had an honor of presenting and editing Sairbeen for over a decade and I enjoyed every second of it.”
Asad Hashim, Al Jazeera English web correspondent, felt a voice of independent journalism has been silenced. “A heartfelt ode from @abbasnasir59 to a radio (and later TV) programme that defined independent journalism for a generation.”
Journalist Syed Arfeen said families would wait for Sairbeen. “All my family members used to wait for Sairbeen during #Karachi Operation in 90s to get the updates and thanks to late #IdreesBakhtiar who kept updating his audience. A sad day for #Journalism and student like me. @abbasnasir59 #Pakistan.”
Another Twitter user Mohammad Siddiq also remembered when his father would listen to Sairbeen. “I remember my father listening to sairbeen over a cup of tea like it was a daily ritual, a never miss thing. We brothers who used to study alongside were passive listeners. Still remember the addictive voice of shafi naqi jami sb.. End of an era.”
Hussain Askari, another BBC journalist, said a remarkable era of journalism has come to an end. “A remarkable program will soon be archived into the shelves of history. I had the honour of presenting and editing Sairbeen for more than 8 years and working with great broadcasters.”
Azra Syed said that with no Sairbeen next year will be a sad day for her. “This is really sad - My childhood memories are linked to It- it was most favourite programme of my Baba who never missed it even for a single day. Still when I listen to it, it takes me decades back, and I find myself sitting next to my baba listening #Sairbeen.”
However, another user – Common Man – was happy with the closing down of Sairbeen, saying over the past few years the program had become anti-Pakistan. “I hv been a listener of Sairbeen for a long long time but stopped for last 3-4 years bcs I noticed that it had a very obvious antiPakistan narrative. They will intentionally highlight news bringing bad name to Pak & analysts will always be biased against PAK. happy it is closing.”
Photo courtesy: BBC
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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.