Pakistan, the media hog

How boring international news would be if it weren't for us Pakistanis.

Ghazala Akbar May 17, 2011
Pakistan loves being the centre of attention in the world media. Look at the fodder we provide. Every few months we're in the news. Not a measly column or two on the inside pages. Not even the last item before the weather.


We make Headline news! Breaking news! Live coverage!

For all the wrong reasons, we are a publicist's dream client. We don't even demand payment. We are ready for 24/7 non-stop coverage, exclusive photos, interviews and we give all of it for free! This is some serious collective national talent. PR companies are studying our methods. Universities are funding researches. People everywhere are asking:

How do we manage to do it?

How do we always hog the headlines seemingly effortlessly?

Every news editor reserves space for us when he designs his final layout. Newscasters have one ear tuned to keep a look out for the ‘P’ word. Twitterati are up all night. Journalists keep an open air ticket to Islamabad tucked away in their briefcases. Bags are always packed.  Everyone's ready to drop everything at the mention of the word ‘Pakistan.’

Major media events these days are being planned with us in mind. I bet you Kate and William were on tenterhooks all day, hoping we wouldn't upstage their big day. When Kate entered Westminster Abbey, Harry turned, smiled and said to William “Relax bro, no news from Pakistan today!” Phew!

Luckily for William, Obama took a whole day to digest the information the CIA gave him. Otherwise, millions around the world would have missed out on her dress and the royal kiss. All eyes would be transfixed on A- BOT- A - BAD!

Poor ol' Qaddafi. He lost a son. They bombed the hell out of his villa but it hardly caused a ripple in the media. The Arab spring is wilting this summer. It was and should be the big story but we've grabbed the attention - again.

Sorry Syria, you just have to wait your turn. Hamas and Fatah, be quiet - we're reporting live from Islamabad!

Assassinations, suicide bombers, gun-battles, terrorists, drugs, crooked politicians, match- fixers, spot- fixers and bigamists - you name it, we've been through it. Nature doesn't spare us either. If it’s not a man-made disaster, we encounter dramatic natural calamities like earthquakes and floods of biblical proportions.

But nothing beats the recent mother- of-all-blunders – The Bin Laden episode. Even by our high standards, this was something spectacular. We did it - big time!

How boring the news would be if it weren't for us Pakistanis.

I love being a Pakistani. Honest. I just wish it was for the right reasons.
Ghazala Akbar A graduate from University of Karachi, currently based in Karachi, who is interested in writing and cricket.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Sok Kwu Wan | 12 years ago | Reply Whether one should visit a country or not can be easily determined by which foreign correspondents are reporting from there. If they are the kind of reporters that only go somewhere if they can wear a bullet proof vest, avoid the area. If it's John Simpson, flee!
Samm | 12 years ago | Reply Excellent article! Would love to read more ...
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