Which newspaper do you read?

This post started of as a discussion on LMB, on a comparision between The News and Daily Times. This poses a very interesting question. A lot of our views are based on the sort of input we receive from sources around us. One of the major sources of this news are newspapers and ofcourse, we all have our personal favourites. Sources we hold as true guardians of the truth, justice and what not.

However, when these papers start having their own agenda’s and views (as a culmination of the views of their authors or maybe the source which funds their paychecks) these views get twisted. Hence the services of ‘Spin Doctors’ and ‘Media Image Consultants’ are so sought after nowadays….

Karachiite gave a very good rundown of the various news sources in his reply on LMB, and im making it into a post of its own here.

Every day I read the online versions of Daily Times and The News (and about 8 others). For sure, DT is the most secular of all of them. It takes a pro-US liberal line and generally has an anti-religious and anti-nationalistic attitude. It most closely resembles the PPP ideology.

Of the Lahore papers, The Nation is very nationalistic and pro-religion. It seems most closely related to PML(Q) of Nawaz Sharif.

The News is more balanced and it is hard to figure out it’s political affiliation or ideology as it seems to blast everyone. It has a wide variety of contributors who offer different kinds of opinion. It used to be pro-Musharraf but nowadays there are more negative articles on him.

Here’s a brief rundown:

Pak Observer (Islamabad): Pro-Mush, nationalistic
Dawn (Karachi): Impeccably neutral and aloof
Jang (Urdu): Near exact Urdu version of The News
Nawa-i-waqt (Urdu): Urdu version of The Nation
Ausaaf (Urdu): Nationalistic
Ummat (Urdu): Highly Islamic
Jasaarat (Urdu): Jamaat-e-Islami paper

My advise is to find a paper that most closely matches your own taste

20 Comments so far

  1. K.A. (unregistered) on August 8th, 2006 @ 1:51 pm

    Dont know what happened to Dawn – it used to be pretty ok but recently its finding all the flaws in Karachi and publishing them in bold on the Metropolitan section. Not that it didn’t highlight the city’s problems before but now there are suddenly too many problems and they are too prominent on the newspaper. There’s something Dawn doesn’t like about the current setup. Speaking of Dawn they seriously need to work on their grammar.

  2. bublee (unregistered) on August 8th, 2006 @ 2:27 pm

    Totally agree with KA – grammer is SO poor… i tried to tell them this, but as per usual the ‘son-of-so-and-so’ got his letter published instead(!) Hmm… Maybe they dont wanna hear the truth?! And yes, an increasing number of load-shedding whinging, water-shortage complaints, and rikshaw-vala got slapped in the street syndrome!!! I mean c’mon, its supposed to be the 1st national broadsheet of Pak – live up to the title please!!! :|

  3. mansoor (unregistered) on August 8th, 2006 @ 2:41 pm

    i agree K.A. its become a bit “too” morbid nowadays.

    One thing they do on a daily basis.. publish how many cellphones/cars/motorcycles are snatched on a daily basis. :D

  4. K.A. (unregistered) on August 8th, 2006 @ 2:54 pm

    Exactly. It has always been going on. Snatching and theft and all. Plus where do they get the numbers, I mean I know a dozen people whose phones have been snatched yet they haven’t reported anywhere. I am sure this is an estimated figure or a random number picked by someone.

  5. Anathema (unregistered) on August 8th, 2006 @ 3:29 pm

    Dawn and Business Recorder it is for me. dawn has bad english but i like their content. BR i have to read for the job: business industry

  6. Naeem (unregistered) on August 8th, 2006 @ 3:40 pm

    i read DAWN…i think it’s the best there is!..when in pakistan the hard copy version and when not in pakistan i read the online version..i have subscribed to its online email thing so i daily get the alert..which i do go through!

  7. SK (unregistered) on August 8th, 2006 @ 3:53 pm

    I think Dawn is still the best newspaper of Pakistan. I know that it publishes a lot of negative news about Karachi in particular and Pakistan in general. In response to K.A. there were not much problems of Karachi about two to three years back.

    I recently visited Karachi about a week ago after a year and was astonished to see my birthplace in a pitiful condition, all the major roads dug up, the Karsaz road closed to traffic, etc. The reason is that Karachi is expanding in a haphazard manner with no proper planning.

    As remains the dillema of our countrymen, we spend 30% of our time in planning and 70% in execution. Where as it should be the opposite.

    As far as the grammar of Dawn is concerned it is the same but there are a lot of typos in the newspapers now a days.

  8. farhan (unregistered) on August 8th, 2006 @ 4:10 pm

    Guys I used to critize dawn for neglecting Karachi’s core issues or rather issues that troubles common men in karachi.

    So as you guys wrote that now dawn has started highligting those issues then I WOULD SAY DAWN’S JUST GOT BETTER.

    I just wanna ask what kind of news you guys wanna read??

    You want newspapers to portray karachi as a peaceful, problem free city which is not the case.

    Every where in the world people want to read about their own problems, Newspaper like Guardian has its local editions for local councils so that issues of the councils could be highlighted.

    In US ppl like to know about happenings in their area,newpapers cover local news rather than International issues cuz ppl want to read about their own problems , they put their porblems first and this is how their system works, local elected bodies take notice and act immediately to solve the problems which locals are facing.

    I think Dawn has adopted a good aproach,NO NEWPAPER CUD IGNORE BASIC PROBLEMS OF THE LOCALS


    Open your eyes guys, face the reality, talk and read abt reality, dont act like ostritches.

  9. Sajid (unregistered) on August 8th, 2006 @ 5:05 pm

    They publish all Karachi stuf in Metropolitan section. As the name suggest what else you want to read in that section?

    Everywhere roads are dugged, people are suffering, car/bikes and phones snatched, gutters overflowing, thats karachi! so lets face it…

  10. Zami (unregistered) on August 8th, 2006 @ 6:14 pm

    DAWN is no saint either, it carries hidden agenda as well. They are pro PPP and Sindhi. They dont openly write good about PPP but just pay close attention to their news items and you will find on own!

  11. kidal (unregistered) on August 8th, 2006 @ 9:12 pm

    I have always read Dawn. I like the format of their online edition. The News recently revamped their website, and it’s nicely done. But for some reason I still feel comfortable with Dawn.

    As for the contents, I have to disagree with Farhan. True, we must not bury our heads in the sand. But newspapers are not just a source of information. They influence public opinion, attitudes and the general social psyche. While this is a source of great power, it is also a great responsibility.

    Journalists and media bosses all over the world know this. There is always a hidden agenda behind the editorial decisions. Its not always sinister. But the agenda is rarely expressed explicitly.

    Overwhelming the public with bad news (corruption, ineptitude, failure, oppression) has a very damaging effect. People develop a defeatist, pessimistic, sceptical, hypercritical outlook that becomes a vicious cycle.

    While newspapers must cover the problems of our country, they should also try to balance it out by highlighting good news – news that will instill hope, optimism, positivity and ambition.

    Given the current state of affairs, it may be easier to find bad news. But if our newspapers want to contribute towards building this country, they have to make an extra effort to report good news.

  12. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on August 8th, 2006 @ 10:28 pm

    I miss “Evening Special” which we guys used to read in school days.It was pretty spicy news paper of its time.

    I read jang and dawn but I dont rely on them.Jang group trying its best to promote India within Pakistan and I am tired of reading/watching stuff about bollywood stars in their papers and channels

  13. danny (unregistered) on August 9th, 2006 @ 1:05 am

    I read the DAWN.

    My view is that newspapers have a duty and responsibility to reveal the shortcomings of our city’s government in providing lack of basic services that are taken for granted in the West eg. safety/security from car thefts, cellphone snatchings as well as 24-hr electricity and civic services like good, clean roads etc. I would guess the source of the info of thefts is FIR’s from all the city’s police stations.

    If a newspaper does not reveal these things to the public than it clearly is in the pocket of the powers-that-be.

    @Kidal, what you are suggesting is basically the government should run their own newspaper tooting their own horn (going back to the days of “Khabarnama” where we were given a dose of the government’s doing from the government). That is acceptable as long as everyone knows that the source is biased.

    In a democracy, the newspaper has to be independant and must make the population aware of what their government is doing with taxpayer money. By suggesting that they should not means the person is clearly in the government and is trying to force the media to toot the government’s horn and not expose them for the frauds they are.

    I agree with Farhan — I want to know what’s happening in my local area. For those people who find it amusing that newspapers report thefts, cellphone snatchings etc, I’d like to point out they have become immune to all this and have resigned to the fact that this is “normal”. While it might be, to ultimately give into this “normalcy” is the ultimate pessimissim any Pakistani can sink to. I ask these people what they would prefer the newspapers to cover?

  14. kidal (unregistered) on August 9th, 2006 @ 1:47 am

    Danny, I am not suggesting that the newpapers should be run by the government. I am not suggesting that they should only highlight government achievements. There is plenty being done by the private sector, even individuals. And I am certainly not suggesting that they should cover up the government’s corruption and ineptitude. All I am saying is that there should be a more balanced, responsible approach.

  15. danny (unregistered) on August 9th, 2006 @ 4:56 am

    Kidal, not to be simplistic but if our local government provided better police security and reduced the number of thefts and improved their crime-solving techniques and actually recover stolen property then the newspapers would have less *bad* stuff to report, no?

    Same with the local civic services — if we had good roads, and good water supply and good electric supply than the newspaper would have less of that to report as well.

    So instead of blaming newspapers for merely *reporting* the shortcomings of the government, you should direct your attention to the government itself and get after it to improve it’s services to the population. If you get at the source of the matter, you will automatically deny DAWN and others newspapers the opportunity to report such *bad* news.

    In an ideal world, I would hope all this *bad* news moves the population to get up and actually do something — after all strength does lie in numbers. And is that what a ‘democracy’ is all about?

  16. danny (unregistered) on August 9th, 2006 @ 4:57 am


  17. Karachiite (unregistered) on August 9th, 2006 @ 7:04 am

    As they say – don’t shoot the messenger.

  18. Mona (unregistered) on August 9th, 2006 @ 1:55 pm

    Never in my life have I seen any newspaper in my own/relatives house other than DAWN.And here too, I find my borther and dad scanning the online version for their daily news dose.
    Anyways,I totally agree with Farhan and Danny. Also, everything about Karachi is in the Metropolitan section so put on rose-colored glasses and give that section a pass if need be.Reading the local newspapers here in the US isnt a merry-go-round ride either.

  19. wasiq (unregistered) on August 11th, 2006 @ 3:03 am

    (i gotch you a holiday on the 14th thank me!…..please…)

    KhaleejTimes is the best….it has been my favorite newspaper for a very long time…Gulfnews is also good..both covers the pakistan and karachi news very objectively….and you can get it for a bargain because of the time difference…..its certainly not garbage the next day like the british newspapers……

  20. mansoor (unregistered) on August 11th, 2006 @ 10:34 am

    mona: dawn is pretty omnipresent.. especially in karachi. i’ve been seeing dawn everywhere myself too. We even get only dawn at the office.

    wasiq: hhmm.. they do have some pretty good news now and then.. no doubt.

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