Send slugs, file and repeat

These are no normal times, especially for those working for the business pages

Saad Hasan April 12, 2015

I could not sleep the other night with my journalist wife — and it is not an exciting incident. She covers MQM and there was a late-night press conference.

On the other hand, I am a business reporter who covers energy and aviation sectors but, in reality, I really like eating away at Kazim and Farhan’s, fellow reporters, areas.

Mornings are slow, more often than not, especially with my editor’s blow. “Slugs…” he messages me every day as he tries to make sense of what actually happened the day before. I get to work straight out of bed, the sun is up – maybe a bit much to my liking – its noon. But my people at The Express Tribune understand.

Someone caused it and a flight of the Pakistan International Airlines was delayed — somehow it is big news and the web desk wants it too.

Going through the competitor’s paper, I see so many haphazard stories. What are they doing? I am the champ, I declare to myself.

Then, the editor, my desk editor’s boss, calls me that I missed the big news. I try to explain that a reporter’s life is not simple, and the ‘source’ refused to give a quote. But, the editor says that he was a reporter once and these excuses won’t work.

I clench my fists and head out, determined to make the big break. But before all of that, let me tell you, Tribune is a funny place. The turnover is higher than preferred but the paper continues to roll. For all those people out there on Twitter, I wonder what would have been your future if not for the few Tribune bloopers.

Self-bashing can be a good start, but I can speak my heart here. For a journalist, a story is everything and creates a legacy. If it gets killed, he is reduced to a mere mortal. Once-upon-a-rare-time, I worked really hard and filed a 6000-word piece of art (it was actually a three-part story on the Dewan Group). Everyone said no one reads a wall of text especially when it is something so dead. But, my people at ET stood by me, used graphs, pictures, timelines and made it the first of its kind.

We were young and few yet we grew. And one day, we will be leaders in what we do. Just look and you will find traces of Tribune all around.

These are no normal times, especially for those working for the business pages. People still confuse LNG for CNG. Our stories are overshadowed by the ethnic, sectarian, political violence and acts of terrorism. Even the entertainment section has sort of an edge over us.

But we will persevere and continue to come out with interesting, factual, in-depth and hard-core business stories.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 12th, 2015.


Saad | 7 years ago | Reply Yea thanks for being the biggest fan!
Rabia Ali | 7 years ago | Reply <3
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