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A quick critique on BBC Urdu’s quality and reliability

BBC-Urdu

Source: http://freespeechpakistan.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/bbc/

The following post offers a summary of an important conversation that took place on Twitter on the quality and reliability of news reports and analyses published on BBC Urdu (radio and web site).

Key critics: Dr Ayesha Siddiqa, Dr. Mohammad Taqi

Key supporters of BBC Urdu: Raza Rumi, Tahir Imran Mian

Context

bbc

The social media clearly kept the traditional media on its toes and in a way acted as the watchdog keeping a check on it. But despite that, the Pakistani conventional media (honourable exceptions aside), and some foreign outlets like the BBC Urdu website, misreported the tragedy. Most of the traditional media just could not bring itself to report honestly that the victims in Quetta were targeted and killed because of their faith, for being Shia. The racial features of the Hazara and their geographical location in what have become two ghettoes in Quetta make them an easy target no doubt, but it is their set of religious beliefs that makes them fair game for the perpetrators. One cannot say with certainty whether the media is in denial or ignorant about the ongoing Shia genocide, is complicit with or scared of the killers. The reluctance to identify the victims for who they were is unprofessional, unethical and outright inhuman and most importantly skews the narrative. However, the ultimate responsibility to build the accurate narrative rests with the political leaders who, barring a few notable exceptions, were conspicuous by their absence.

Three days that almost shook Pakistan — Dr Mohammad Taqi
Daily Times January 17, 2013
http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013%5C01%5C17%5Cstory_17-1-2013_pg3_2

Conversation

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Mohammad Taqi ‏@mazdaki
@iamthedrifter Old Sufi line: aatay heiN wuhi jin ko sarkar bulatay heiN … applies ! @razarumi
View conversation
1h Mohammad Taqi ‏@mazdaki
@BBCUrdu note that you can’t have the luxury of being mediocre and cocky at the same time. Your staffers getting personal doesn’t help it.
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1h Mohammad Taqi ‏@mazdaki
@TahirImran I’d rather you speak the truth from London than obfuscate from Islamabad. Stay blessed. #BBCURDU #Sairbeen
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1h Mohammad Taqi ‏@mazdaki
@TahirImran Sir, professional work must be done honestly and without making excuses. Clearly you wish to make it personal which it is not.
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1h Mohammad Taqi ‏@mazdaki
@ijazkhan @razarumi @iamthedrifter Worse than giving up is endorse mediocrity uncritically #Sairbeen
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1h Mohammad Taqi ‏@mazdaki
@TahirImran I like it:) hum talib e shohrat hein humein nang se kiya kaam/badnam agar hoN ge to kia nam na ho ga #Sairbeen @iamthedrifter
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2h Mohammad Taqi ‏@mazdaki
@iamthedrifter You smash one Pak general on BBC or VOA Urdu and you aren’t invited the next time. And let’s not get into quality @razarumi
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2h Mohammad Taqi ‏@mazdaki
@Razarumi @iamthedrifter It’s the humans who are resourced out by you know who. VOA Urdu in same league.
View conversation
2h Mohammad Taqi ‏@mazdaki
@iamthedrifter @razarumi On some critical issues today’s #BBCURDU is merely a smidge different than #Pakistan Urdu media

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Raza Rumi ‏@Razarumi
@iamthedrifter Things have changed but there is an effort to be unbiased which is refreshing given the state of affairs.
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2h Ayesha Siddiqa ‏@iamthedrifter Protected account
@Razarumi I am not sure about that today’s BBC is not what it used to be it is closer to Pak estab & poor manpower has impact on quality
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2h Mohammad Taqi ‏@mazdaki
@iamthedrifter @razarumi On some critical issues today’s #BBCURDU is merely a smidge different than #Pakistan Urdu media
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2h Ayesha Siddiqa ‏@iamthedrifter Protected account
@mazdaki @Razarumi sat through one Sairbeen in which the anchor was stammering & fumbling while reading out questions
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2h Mohammad Taqi ‏@mazdaki
@iamthedrifter You smash one Pak general on BBC or VOA Urdu and you aren’t invited the next time. And let’s not get into quality @razarumi
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1h Ayesha Siddiqa ‏@iamthedrifter Protected account
@mazdaki @Razarumi @ijazkhan estab now has frnds organizing litrary fests so if you are persona non grata u don’t get invited
Mohammad Taqi ‏@mazdaki
@iamthedrifter You smash one Pak general on BBC or VOA Urdu and you aren’t invited the next time. And let’s not get into quality @razarumi
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1h Ayesha Siddiqa ‏@iamthedrifter Protected account
@mazdaki @Razarumi @ijazkhan estab now has frnds organizing litrary fests so if you are persona non grata u don’t get invited
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1h Mohammad Ali Talpur ‏@mmatalpur
@iamthedrifter @mazdaki @Razarumi @ijazkhan I suppose they made a mistake. I’m moderating M. Hanif’s book on Baloch missing on 16th Feb.
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Ayesha Siddiqa ‏@iamthedrifter Protected account
@mmatalpur best of luck I am sure u will alzo have the illuzion that they let you speak @mazdaki @Razarumi @ijazkhan
Ayesha Siddiqa ‏@iamthedrifter Protected account

@mmatalpur Baluchistan is a fashionable issue open discussion 2 create impression that Baluch free 2 speak @mazdaki @Razarumi @ijazkhan
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22m Mohammad Ali Talpur ‏@mmatalpur
@iamthedrifter @mazdaki @Razarumi @ijazkhan Seems so. At least ppl will get to hear some truth. Maybe its first time & last time for me.
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18m Ayesha Siddiqa ‏@iamthedrifter Protected account
@mmatalpur may be they will just go ahead with devoicing the Baluch under the garb of openness in this cntry @mazdaki @Razarumi @ijazkhan

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Ayesha Siddiqa ‏@iamthedrifter Protected account
@mazdaki @Razarumi you challenge military’s chamcha like Anatol Lieven & don’t get invited to #KLF Paks shldn’t say a wrd abt Jaipur fest
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2h Ayesha Siddiqa ‏@iamthedrifter Protected account
@mazdaki @Razarumi our frnd @mohammedhanif must answer 4 bringing some poor quality ppl to BBC
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2h Ayesha Siddiqa ‏@iamthedrifter Protected account
@Razarumi @mazdaki @ijazkhan I remember one BBC head offering 2 deliver my book to Gens Mush & Ehsan for their opinion
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2h Ayesha Siddiqa ‏@iamthedrifter Protected account
@Razarumi @mazdaki sure but the team which now controls BBC has brought poor human resource
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2h Ayesha Siddiqa ‏@iamthedrifter Protected account
@mazdaki @Razarumi sat through one Sairbeen in which the anchor was stammering & fumbling while reading out questions
View conversation
2h Ayesha Siddiqa ‏@iamthedrifter Protected account
@Razarumi I am not sure about that today’s BBC is not what it used to be it is closer to Pak estab & poor manpower has impact on quality
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2h Ayesha Siddiqa ‏@iamthedrifter Protected account
@Razarumi @BBCUrdu but this is not the same Sairbeen the old one which one heard growing up was higher quality

Raza Rumi ‏@Razarumi
@mazdaki @iamthedrifter Yes but let me add the younger Pakistanis are far more steeped in state-set nationalist narratives than 30 yrs ago..
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2h Raza Rumi ‏@Razarumi
@mazdaki @iamthedrifter Apologies for the typo in my earlier tweet. “Now” should be read as *not*
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2h Raza Rumi ‏@Razarumi
@mazdaki I think @iamthedrifter identified human resource as a critical factor.Now the same 30 yrs ago.But still better than Pak Urdu media!

Raza Rumi ‏@Razarumi
@iamthedrifter Things have changed but there is an effort to be unbiased which is refreshing given the state of affairs.

Raza Rumi ‏@Razarumi
I grew up listening to Sairbeen & @BBCUrdu progs when media was controlled. Great to see BBC Urdu finding space on Pak TV. Bravo!
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2h Raza Rumi ‏@Razarumi
Congratulations- great step forward RT @bbclysedoucet: Shabash! @BBCUrdu tv launching today #Pakistan w @expressnewspk #Sairbeen

Raza Rumi ‏@Razarumi
RT @Goshno Aliya Nazki our main host talks about ‘Sairbeen’s’ launch with @MishalHusainBBC @BBCUrdu http://lockerz.com/s/282743677

Tahir Imran Mian ‏@TahirImran
#Sairbeen #BBCurdu RT @ShirazHassan: Congratulations to @bbcurdu for launching its TV transmission in Urdu on Express News
Retweeted by Raza Rumi

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1h Tahir Imran Mian ‏@TahirImran
@mazdaki I am not taking it personal janab, but just would like to state that when I do my job I do it with 100% honesty & others too.
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1h Tahir Imran Mian ‏@TahirImran
The most shocking part of this bashing BBC Urdu is that some people who are doing it were an active members & always ready to come on board
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1h Tahir Imran Mian ‏@TahirImran
People who sit in the security of US government don’t know how to live in constant fear of attack, threats from Taliban.
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1h Tahir Imran Mian ‏@TahirImran
I believe without understanding the changed scenario people who attack BBC Urdu are those who know nothing about ground realities.
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1h Tahir Imran Mian ‏@TahirImran
@mazdaki It is very easy to sit in USA or abroad & criticize & use terms of your choice but its not a walk in park while in Pakistan.
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2h Tahir Imran Mian ‏@TahirImran
@mazdaki I understand your views & respect them but I believes they are one sided & not based on facts. The reality is far different.
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2h Raza Hamdani ‏@hamdani_raza
Is BBC Urdu bashing a new fashion in “intellectuals” who can’t even come clean themselves?
Retweeted by Tahir Imran Mian
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2h Faizan Lakhani ‏@faizanlakhani
Congratulations to @ZeshPirzada @Goshno @TahirImran and all other friends in @BBCUrdu on launch of TV transmission. All the best.
Retweeted by Tahir Imran Mian

Tahir Imran Mian ‏@TahirImran
@mazdaki @iamthedrifter Please say whatever you would like to but do use the hash tag #Sairbeen .

Related:

https://lubpak.net/archives/245203

https://lubpak.net/archives/245509

About the author

Kristina Yn

Humanitarian by heart, philanthropist by mind. Promoting a tolerant, progressive Pakistan.

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