Youth Should Work Hard, Focus On Studies, Set The Targets: Nasir Aijaz

By: Tahir Odhano

Nasir Aijaz Memon is one of the renowned journalists and news editor of a news agency Pakistan Press International (PPI) Karachi since 2000. He started translating short stories from English literature when he was student of Inter Commerce at Sachal Sarmast Commerce College Hyderabad. After completing his graduation, he joined as Sub editor at Sindhi Daily Hilal-e-Pakistan, Karachi on January 01, 1976.

Q: Presently, on which position you are working in PPI?

A: I am working as an Editor in Pakistan Press International.

Q: In Pakistan, how many news agencies are working?

A: There is one state-owned news agency  Associated Press of Pakistan (APP), while in private sector the oldest one is PPI and then comes the UPP, NNI etc.

Q: Which newspapers are members of PPI?

A: All the major English and Urdu newspapers of Pakistan including Dawn, The News, The Nation, Daily Times, Express Tribune, Business Recorder, Jang, Nawa-e-Waqt, Express etc.

Q: Advertisement is a main source to run the expenses of any electronic or print media, so what are the sources of running news agency?

A: The print and electronic media need business to meet expenses and earn profits, but the news agencies depend only on the subscription paid by the newspapers. Since it's difficult to survive through such meager subscriptions, the news agencies explore other venues of income like foreign clients. They also receive some grants from federal government.  

Q: As every print or electronic media have district, taluka, and city reporters, so could you tell us how news agency collects the information?

A: The news agencies have similar network of correspondents across the country besides bureau offices at main cities and the reporters at head offices. They also have some sharing agreements with foreign news agencies. 

Q: How many news agencies are working for Sindhi media? If not then what is reason behind it?

A: There is no Sindhi news agency. During 90s, an attempt was made to establish a Sindhi news agency but it miserably failed within few months as no Sindhi newspaper paid it for the service. The NNI also launched Sindhi service but stopped it within few years for the same reason. Currently, the state-run APP is providing Sindhi service but faces the same situation. The main reason of having no Sindhi news agency is the attitude of Sindhi newspapers as they do not pay and prefer free services.  

Q: Can international newspapers be members of Pakistani news agencies?

A: It depends on quality service of local news agencies. However, they had been publishing news reports of local news agencies provided by foreign news agencies, which they get through agreements with local news agencies. The foreign newspapers also publish the news reports and photos, which they get through websites and pay for it to the news agencies including PPI.  

Q: In the fastest world of media, how do you see the scope of news agencies in the future?     

A: Although, it is difficult to survive depending on a very small amount of subscription paid by the newspapers, the importance of news agencies cannot be denied. Like the newspapers, the news agencies too have the scope; however, they have to explore the venues of income.

Q: What message would you like to give to young journalists?

A; Work hard, focus on studies, set the targets and survive for achieving the goals. Be an honest journalist, maintain neutrality in profession, and avoid involving yourself in malpractice. Keep yourself update with changing world.