Arab News at 44: Online Pakistan edition has formed its own regional identity

Former Minister of Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry, who on Thursday was appointed minister for science and technology, officially inaugurated the newspaper’s Pakistan bureau earlier this year - seen here with Arab News EIC Faisal J. Abbas (C) and journalist Baker Atyani (R). (AN Photo)
Updated 20 April 2019
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Arab News at 44: Online Pakistan edition has formed its own regional identity

  • Arab News expanded its footprint entering Pakistan in mid 2017
  • Its Pakistan Edition was founded on February 2018 and has been a major success

ISLAMABAD: Arab News’ online Pakistan edition, which launched on Feb. 8, 2018, has established itself as a credible extension of the Riyadh-based newspaper, which today marks its 44th anniversary.
Arab News entered Pakistan as part of the newspaper’s ongoing global and digital expansion, and to tap news from other parts of Asia, hiring skilled journalists and freelance contributors.
An exclusive interview in October 2018 with Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who was newly elected as prime minister at the time, catapulted Arab News in Pakistan.
Realizing the news potential in the country, Arab News capitalized on its success and set up a bureau, but not before landing more special reports that grabbed the local media’s attention and attracted a larger readership.
The website www.arabnews.pk became the parent organization’s first in a series of country-specific online editions that the newspaper is planning to launch, and is part of its “more digital, more global” strategy.
Former Minister of Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry, who on Thursday was appointed minister for science and technology, officially inaugurated the newspaper’s Pakistan bureau earlier this year.
Led by award-winning veteran journalist Baker Atyani, and under the guidance of Arab News Editor-in-Chief Faisal J. Abbas, the team at the Pakistan edition has worked diligently to penetrate the country’s vibrant news market.
As such, followership of the newspaper’s Pakistan social media account has quickly ballooned.
Its online coverage of the first visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Pakistan in February was widely praised.
Arab News published special reports and features on the deep-rooted and diversifying ties between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
Also a major hit was Abbas’s exclusive, lengthy sit-down with President Dr. Arif Alvi during the crown prince’s visit.
Another exclusive that garnered a serious online buzz was on Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris offering to build 100,000 housing units in Pakistan.
The Pakistan edition has kept a special focus on business and finance, and has spoken with movers and shakers, including those in the corridors of power.
In August 2018, it exposed the ruling party’s hit single “Rok Sako To Rok Lo Tabdeeli Aayi Re,” produced for the last general election, as being suspiciously similar to a remixed version of the Indian religious song “Bankya Maa Re Nach. The report was instantly picked up by Pakistani media.
Days before the election, Atyani conducted a one-on-one exclusive with Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Arab News’ Pakistan edition is part of the regional publishing giant Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG). With the edition’s success, the SRMG is looking to replicate the model across Asia.


Pope Francis issues new warning against fake news

Updated 18 May 2019
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Pope Francis issues new warning against fake news

  • Journalists must be very careful of their choice of words in an era of “hostile language” proliferating everywhere, pope says
  • He also asked the press to speak of those "forgotten by society", such as the Rohingyas of Myanmar and the Yazidis of Iraq
VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis on Saturday urged journalists to desist from publishing fake news, saying it could cause harm, and instead “take time to understand” issues before reporting on them.
Receiving foreign journalists in the Vatican, the pontiff also urged journalists to remain “humble” saying humility “prevents the rotten flow of disinformation and offers the good bread of truth.”
Pope Francis said humility was of great importance as it implies consciousness “that through an article, a tweet, a live broadcast either televised or on radio can do good, but also if one is not attentive and scrupulous, harm.”
He also said journalists must be very careful of their choice of words in an era of “hostile language” proliferating everywhere, especially on social media.
“Everyone knows how the search for truth is difficult and demands humility,” he said.
He also asked the press to speak of “wars forgotten by society.
“Who still talks of the Rohingyas?” he said. “Who still speaks of the Yazidis? They are forgotten and they continue to suffer.”
About 740,000 Muslim minority Rohingya have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh since a brutal military crackdown began in August 2017.
Thousands of refugees attempt to flee the Bangladeshi camps each year in pursuit of better opportunities in countries such as Malaysia and Thailand.
They frequently spend their life savings to embark on dangerous boat journeys they believe will improve their lives, but many fall prey to international human trafficking gangs.
The Yazidi community once numbered around 500,000 members in the mountainous Sinjar region of northwest Iraq, but it was ravaged by the Daesh’s 2014 sweep into the area.
Jihadists killed Yazidi men, forced boys to join their ranks as fighters and abducted and imprisoned thousands of Yazidi women as sex slaves.