Since the onset of independent media in Pakistan, the News media and journalism has thrived a lot, since 2001 we have seen countless news channels coming up and each channel comes with number of new faces and seasoned professionals. However, only a few manage to leave a mark behind with their dedication and hard work. Neelam Yousuf is unquestionably one of those names and faces who have fared to live by the image of being face of a news channel.
Neelam Yousuf is presently associated with one of Pakistan’s most followed News Channels –ARY News. Neelam belongs to the younger or feasibly it would be more apt to say youngest lot of news media personalities. This News Anchor who carries her work with calm, affluence and style is certainly an example of what is called ‘beauty with brains’. We got chance to interview Neelam Yousuf recently where we discussed her professional life, and the challenges as a news anchor she faces, and what is life of news anchor like.
Here are the 14 Questions we asked and their answers from the face of ARY News and gorgeous Neelam Yousuf:
Were you always attracted to journalism and media and when did you realize that a career as a media person was for you?
Neelam Yousuf: I would say I was more into knowing about the world of Journalism rather than Media. Media is a term which can be referred to anything that gets the message across. The main thing is the content and the expression by which it circulated. Once I got hold of the basics, I confidently choose it as something to earn my living from.
Tell us something your educational back ground, and to what extent do you think your education and your academic degree has helped you in your career?
Neelam Yousuf: I have done Mass Communication from Punjab University for the record. My academic degree focused on the same field in which I am working right now. This gave me the edge over other candidates for my first Job when I was entering this industry. Other than that, I would suggest that practical experience as no alternative. The things that you learn while working develop you as a professional. Everything is not as easy as written in our books. There are few things which we have to learn the hard way.
What part of your work you find the most challenging and which one you enjoyed the most?
Neelam Yousuf: Well, honestly there is a very thin line between the challenging part and the enjoyable part in my Job. Still I would say that the overall experience of being the face of a Media House is something that gives me the push to work harder. The challenging part I might say is the time in which I have to give in extra hours than scheduled.
In Pakistan mostly there is an issue of not treating male professionals and female professionals equally. i.e. in past a PTV news caster was not allowed to read a sad news since being a woman she would be unable to hold emotions, does that mind set of 1970s and 1980s still exist in our media?
Neelam Yousuf: Although still there are work places or organizations where we see this disparity. I have been lucky enough not to face any such experience right now. The example you are quoting is from decades ago. At least the better organizations in Pakistan are now out of such phase. Thanks to Media 🙂
Sometimes listening to a bad news devastates our day, I am sure reading a bad news must have an effect on a news anchor too how do you coup up with that?
Neelam Yousuf: When I am sitting in front of the Camera, my job is to read whatever is coming in front of me irrespective of being it good or bad. However, there are times when I do get low after listening to a devastating news. A recent Example is the Peshawar Massacre. That was a difficult day at work.
How important do you think a healthy rivalry is among the fellow news anchors, do you think anyone as your rival (healthy/professional rival of course)?
Neelam Yousuf: Simple Economics state that Competition always reaps out the best results. I do not feel anyone as a threat, but the work they do is something which I have to compete. I have to deliver better than them. That is my way of taking up competition.
Keeping other updated about what is going on around the world is a hectic job, what is your favourite off time activity?
Neelam Yousuf: Yes, news anchors have their own life as well. We also have off work activities and hobbies. I like to read a lot. I like to spend time listening to Music. Sufi Music to be precise.
Do you like reading books, if yes then what type of books. Also how much do you think study and personal research is important for a news anchor?
Neelam Yousuf: I love reading books, magazines, online articles etc. As the cliché goes Books are your best friends. They teach you a lot. They are real time experiences of literate people which gives you benefit some time or another.
Define your personal style in three words
Neelam Yousuf: That is a tough one! Still I would say 1. Decent 2. Natural and 3. Confident
At times in your tweets there is an element of Punjabi, is that for making a tweet lighter or is that love for the language. What part of Punjab are you from by the way?
Neelam Yousuf: Actually Both. Punjabi is a language which makes any statement automatically funnier and lighter as compared to other languages. In my opinion this language should be promoted more and should have written literature as well. I am from Lahore.
With the arrival and rise of social media among the Pakistani internet users how much do you think it has changed us in terms of being aware and is social media helping you in your profession if yes then in what way ?
Neelam Yousuf: To answer the first part of your question, yes Social Media has changed the mindset of a regular internet user in Pakistan. People are more aware, they are exposed to different opinions of different people now. This helps them to build up their own opinion about a subject at hand. Which, by the way, should be done with some senseJ. As far as I am concerned professionally, Social Media gives me the chance to express my own opinions on different affairs. Which I cannot do during my work hours.
Any tip of message you would like to give to the people who want to join news media as journalist or news anchor?
Neelam Yousuf: Firstly, the job is not as easy as it looks. It has its own pros and cons. Challenges and Barriers. However one should not lose hope and chase his/her dream. Everything becomes easy when you start to make an effort. Struggle is the main success, not the goal.
Tough “Selfies” have taken over autograph, but have you ever asked for an autograph how did it feel when you gave your first autograph as news anchor/media personality?
Neelam Yousuf: Yes a lot. . I don’t exactly remember the very first experience. But naturally it felt great to be recognized for the work I do and the amount of hard work and passion that I put into it.
Any message for your fans?
Neelam Yousuf: All I want to say is that people who live with a rational mindset always fail to do something big! If you want to achieve something in life you have to think out of the box. You have to take up the Idealistic Approach. No matter what others say, no matter how much barriers you face, you have to stay strong, stay focused and work hard for your goals.
“A satisfied Life is Much Better than a Successful one”