[Interview] 20 Questions with the ‘stubborn’ of Pakistani media – Madiha Masood

Madiha Masood is a lady with many talents, from hosting TV shows to news anchoring, from field reporting to running marathon transmissions from being a teacher and trainer to a digital broadcaster, she has done it all. Last month team MediaSpring PK got a chance to interview this Stubborn one of Pakistani media industry here is what she said in response to our questions.

Disclaimer: this interview was done before her joining the 92 News HD  

1 – Were you interested in the field of journalism since the beginning?

Madiha: It was a dream of my father to see me becoming a journalist and initially I wasn’t interested in becoming one at all. I wanted to do MBA in Marketing but my father persisted that I should study journalism. I had a lot of debate at home regarding this topic with my family when I was studying in my first semester but they somehow convinced me. I accidentally came into the profession of journalism as I was never interested in this profession.

2 – At what point of your life you decided to make to make journalism as your full-fledged career?

Madiha: I faced many difficulties when I started. I was working for City 42, I belong to Sirayki Punjab background and as everybody knows this field requires perfect pronunciation, diction and proper selection of words, If someone’s Urdu is weak then people demoralizes him and they start pointing out his mistakes.I learned Urdu when I was working for City 42 and at that certain point, I felt I should make it my career. I started to know everything about journalism so it helped me take my decision.

I learned Urdu when I was working for City 42 and at that certain point, I felt I should make it my career. I started to learn everything about journalism so it helped me take my decision.

3 – How Difficult was working for a new channel like City 42?

Madiha: It was a great working in City 42 because that channel and my career both were new and we both have evolved and grown together so it was a good experience. I was quite keen on learning new things and they have taught me a lot, they gave me the freedom to work and it was like a home next to the home for me. If City 42 wasn’t there, I might not have been here today.

4 – Tell us about your educational profile?

Madiha: I have 18 years of education specializing in media studies, I did my Masters from Punjab University and I have done my MPhil from Superior University.

Right Now I am interested in doing P.H.D from a reputed institute broad. I would have loved to do it from here but due to the lack of quality education in Pakistan, I am considering options abroad.

People mostly in Pakistan studies for the sake of acquiring the degree, their purpose is not to gain knowledge. I don’t only want to study but also want to bring a change in society and serve our country in a positive manner.

5 – What is the importance of education in shaping up your career?

Madiha: Education is the only thing which has helped me. If I wasn’t that educated enough I would have had not taken a break from my work and I couldn’t think about making my come back.

Unfortunately, in our field people think that the only criteria to be a good journalist is to have a pretty face and good sense of dressing, nothing else and it has become more of a glamour game for the current lot. However, in reality, our work is beyond all these things.

A Journalist should be diversified in his field; he or she should know everything about his work. A Good face shouldn’t be criteria; this field should be open for everyone regardless of someone’s appearance, cast, color or disability. I want to bring that change in the field.

6 – What have you enjoy the most in your career so far? What was the challenging part?

Madiha: I have enjoyed doing live coverage and transmissions a lot and I believe these are the basic rout of an anchor. If an anchor doesn’t do that then I think the journey is incomplete. The most challenging thing is to manage screen work, production, and packages simultaneously.

When I was associated with Dunya News I too2 days break from my on-screen duty and made various packages by going in the field myself. I build my own PR and made some contacts. From script writing to the final editing I have done all and that gave me satisfaction as a broadcast journalist.

7 – Tell us about your first major story?

Madiha: My story with Express News is my most memorable one and that is the best in my opinion. Express showed news of a woman who ate her husband’s body flesh and I had to cover that news. It was very difficult and I had to cover it all alone and everything regarding that was right in front of me and it was terrifying and disgusting. The most challenging thing became the most satisfactory thing for me. I got a lot of appreciation for that story.

Here it is pertinent to mention that when I really felt that I have come of age as a news anchor it was the coverage of PNS Mehran Base attack back in 2011. I was on the evening shift and post a 9pm bulletin on Express News I was the only news anchor on shift when the incident happen. I did an extended shift till next morning 9 am, I believe, covering the whole story. Initially, I was covering it alone but later various news anchors and experts joined in, however, they kept on changing while I stayed put to cover it all. I find it as my remarkable work shift.

8 – You have worked with almost all major News channels let us go through the timeline?

Madiha: I joined City 42 in 2008, Express TV In 2010, in 2013 I joined Geo News for their channel Geo Tez. In 2014 I came back to Lahore and joined Channel 24, I was also part of the launching phase of 92 News HD. In 2015 I joined Dunia TV.

9 – How was the experience of Meri Dunia?

Madiha: It was amazing I must say, followers of that show still message me on Facebook and they still praise me for that. They still point out some good things from that show. It tells that good work always speak on your behalf.

10 – What defines a good TV anchor?

Madiha: This field has become more of a glamour field and people are forgetting what our real purpose and motives are. We provide information and I would prefer if anchors would stick as the one who is known as the source of information rather than fashion icons.

11 – You said that your father wanted you to be the journalist. Is your father a journalist too?

Madiha: My Father did masters in journalism from Punjab University but he couldn’t continue it further due to the demise of my grandfather, he had to return to his village Vehari to look after his family. It was his dream which I am fulfilling.

12 – Who do you idolize as an anchor?

Madiha: Sana Mirza. I like her way of speaking, her polite tone and facial expressions. What I have learned in journalism she is exactly like that.

13 – Do you believe Journalists become apathetic?

Madhiha: Yes to some extent because as news anchor you have to hide your emotions whenever camera turns on and news regarding blasts and killing has become a daily routine so it does that to you.

14 – How do you like to spend your spare time?

Madiha: I do writing in my spare time but I lack flow.

15 – How important is reading books for someone in this field?

Madiha: It is very important to read different books if you like writing but unfortunately I don’t read books. But yes I read blogs on daily basis.

16 – How do you define yourself?

Madhiha: I am very obsessed with working, I don’t care about the remuneration but I am very fond of working. I am workaholic and I love doing something related to work.

17 – How important and strong social media is in your view?

Madhiha: In my opinion, Social media is a bigger tool than Television. You will get instant feedback over there. It can make you star and make you villain instantly. It has that much persona. It will hijack TV in the future.

18 – Since you are on break from screen what are you upto nowadays?

Mahiha: I am conducting workshops and raining on news reporting and journalism, working on some projects as digital broadcaster including a travelogue.

19 – What are your future plans?

Madiha:  I am planning to work on digital, on my home production. I like the fact that digitally you can get instant feedback. This will be a unique thing.

20 – Lastly, any message for those who’d like to join this field?

Madhiha: Come after having a proper study and degree of journalism and don’t think about overnight success, have patience and be confident and keep learning.

News Reporter

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