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How to be a journalist.. :P March 3, 2007

Posted by Bolshevik in Random Crap.
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This post is especially for Ali, but can be used to scare away all other aspiring journalists as well. 😛

 Journo

Okay, not that I’m qualified to write this or anything, given as how I’ve been a journalist for just a little over six months (seven months on March 17) — I’m just putting up stuff that I figured out of my own experience.

1) Be willing to work your ass of.
And I’m being very VERY serious when I say that. There’s no substitute for leg-work ( no, not that, you pervert! 😛 ) — especially when you’re just starting off.

2) The ability to pick stuff up really, REALLY quickly.
No one has the time to sit down and train other people — not in the conventional sense. You have to be able to pick up on pieces of data and piece them together to form valid bits of information — yourself.

3) Keep your eyes and your ears open at all times.
Everything is a potential story. Learn to recognize “newsworthiness.” For this, you have to learn to not be shy. You should be able to talk to anyone at all — on any topic that’s required.

4) Do not get (personally) involved in a story.
This I most definitely quote from personal experience. 😛 Stay detached and neutral at all times. Activism is not part of your job responsibilities, lest dragons swoop down on you and take you away to Narnia. 😛

5) Look up all possible angles and make your story as airtight as possible.
Your job is to present a balanced picture, and to “let the facts speak for themselves” (that’s what Mahim, our City Editor, taught me). Look at all nooks-and-crannies, and work out all kinks in the chain (of information). Try to stay away from second- and third-hand information as much as possible, and always double- and triple-check your sources.

6) Learn to filter out bullshit.
A lot of what politicians (and others) say is bullcrap. Learn to sift through mounds of bullshit to pull out information that you need.

7) I’ll add more points here later.

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Freedom of the press: Yeah right, whatever! February 11, 2007

Posted by psykedelik in Pseudo-Sociological Crap, Random Crap.
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One of our reporters (Abbas) received a death threat today.

Abbas is our crime reporter. Mahim (the city editor) and him have been covering the story about Nisha’s death, and the police investigations, etc. Someone called Abbas up today and threatened to kill him.

This brings home the “fear” that every journalist lives in, here (in Pakistan). At times like these, you realize what a huge farce “freedom of the press” actually is, and reality hits in in a really big way. I mean, you always know that there’s a chance of things like these happening, if you’re pursuing stuff that’s serious enough, but somehow you never think it’ll happen to you or someone you know.

“Yeah well, it happens to people. I don’t know those people, though,” you think and sit back, relaxed. And then it happens to someone who works with someone you know, and then it’s someone you work with yourself. Someday it might be you…

I just realized what Abbas meant when he asked today if I could get his cellphone records out. I told him he should get a cellphone that allows him to record his calls — my K700i, for example, has the call-recording feature. With Nisha’s case, he needs to record every call that comes to him (exept from people that he knows, of course).

I’m hoping that the call to Abbas was just someone’s idea of a lameAss joke. If it was, all I can say to that person is: “Get a life, bhainchod! This isn’t even remotely funny.”

Summer-Vacation-Karachi February 9, 2007

Posted by psykedelik in Random Crap.
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I woke up pretty darn late today (3:15 p.m.) and I woke up exhausted — which is weird, because I think I slept for, like, 9 hours! [ Note to self: Work on stress relief, mate! Stress relief!]

Anyways, so the van came over around 4 p.m. like it usually does, and the weather outside gave me a pretty waala surprise. Karachi-land (yes, I’ll call it Karachi-land today, instead of Stinky-ville like I usually do) was all cloudy and pretty. This was the Karachi that I remembered from summer vacations of yore, and happy memories came flooding in.

We’d spend our alternate summer vacations with relatives here (once every 2 years) — July and August. Each day would be filled with happy stuff from the time I woke up to the time I was forced to go to bed at night (or atleast I remember each day that way). There’d be cartoons on PTv, and for once every 2 years, I’d be able to watch cartoons that weren’t Japanese animes dubbed into Arabic. 🙂

Not that I had anything against the Arabic cartoons in Abu-Dhabi — I still remember “Captain Majid” with the amazing gravity-defying footballers, and “Adnan wa Reema,” the brother-and-sister duo who had two halves ofthis medallion and were looking for something that I don’t remember anymore. I remember “Jazora,” the metal-eating dinosaur, and loads more! And then there was the Arabic version of Care-Bears, and My Little Pony, and Midgets, Smurfs and this other cartoon in English on Channel 8. I don’t remember what the official name of the channel was, but it was tuned at Number 8 on our television at home, so “Channel 8” it was! 🙂 *happy-dappy times*

So yeah, all that was Abu-Dhabi. Karachi would be Loony Toons, Silver Hawks, Thunder Cats, and all. ( I’m a huge cartoons fan! 😛 ) And then there’d be Chhupan-Chhupai (hide-and-seek) with the cousins, and Baraf-Pani and all sorts of rowdy games which I couldn’t play at home in Abu-Dhabi.

Outside the house, there were all those visits to Phuppi’s (paternal aunt) place, and Nani’s (maternal grandmother) place, and the best of all — Urdu Bazaar. I’d go wild there, and gather up all sorts of treasures! And the “cassette kahaanis,” which were recordings of stories in Urdu. Those cassettes had poems on them too, all sung out with music, etc. I think I still have them..

And Sumer-Vacation-Karachi had delightful thunderstorms. Electricity would of course disappear the moment the slightest drizzle hit the ground, but I remember none of us used to mind! We’d sit for hours around candlelight — all us cousins — and swap stories, or play games, and time would fly, and I’d sigh sadly when the electricity came back on. One of my cousins would take the motlen candlewax and roll it up into balls for me. I remember treasuring those balls, for they were a novelty for me — electricity was never dear in Abu-Dhabi, and we never had to use candles!

So yeah, Karachi today reminded me of Summer-Vacation-Karachi, and I forgot all the crap of the past few weeks. Life became simple again, and I got my “chhoti chhoti khusiaN” back.. 🙂

I also figured out something else — how much I love my parents and my sister, and how much I owe to my parents. I mean, they’re the only people in the world who’ve always been there for me — who’ll always BE there for me — who’ll always welcome me back with open arms, no matter how badly I fucked up. The moment I realized this, I regretted all the times I’d blown up at them for stuff, and the times when I’d hurt them emotionally. Today I realized what “home is where the heart is” actually means… no matter where I go, my parents’ house will always be home, and there will always be a place for me in it.

It rained in a few areas of Karachi today. The MET office is predicting thunderstorms tomorrow. So tomorrow will be another happy-dappy day! 🙂

New shades!!! October 11, 2006

Posted by psykedelik in Random Crap.
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my-shades-1.jpg

And yes, now I will be excessively chhichhorfying and tell everyone that I BOUGHT NEW SHADES YESTERDAY!!! WOOHOOOOOOOO!!!!

I bought this in choclate brown, plain metal logo (no rhinestone thingums)!

Impulsive shopping is sooooooo, TOTALLY therapeutic! If only my dad understood this! 😛

my-shades.jpg

The story of my life? October 10, 2006

Posted by psykedelik in Random Crap.
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Moby – Extreme Ways

Extreme ways are back again
Extreme places I didn’t know
I broke everything new again
Everything that I’d owned
I threw it out the windows, came along
Extreme ways I know move apart
The colors of my sea
Perfect colored me

Extreme ways that help me
That help me out at night
Extreme places I had gone
But never seen any light
Dirty basements, dirty noise
Dirty places coming through
Extreme worlds alone
Did you ever like it planned

I would stand in line for this
There’s always room in life for this

Oh baby, oh baby
Then it fell apart, fell apart
Oh baby, oh baby
Then it fell apart, it fell apart
Oh baby, oh baby
Then it fell apart, it fell apart
Oh baby, oh baby
Like it always does, always does

Extreme songs that told me
They helped me down every night
I didn’t have much to say
I didn’t get above the light
I closed my eyes and closed myself
And closed my world and never opened
Up to anything
That could get me along

I had to close down everything
I had to close down my mind
Too many things to cover me
Too much can make me blind
I’ve seen so much in so many places
So many heartaches, so many faces
So many dirty things
You couldn’t even believe

I would stand in line for this
It’s always good in life for this

Oh baby, oh baby
Then it fell apart, fell apart
Oh baby, oh baby
Then it fell apart, it fell apart
Oh baby, oh baby
Then it fell apart, it fell apart
Oh baby, oh baby
Like it always does, always does 

*sigh* October 7, 2006

Posted by psykedelik in Random Crap.
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Yes, it’s Saturday night. And yes, I’m still at work. And yes, I’m a sad, saaaaad person! 😛

Kickass T-shirts.. October 7, 2006

Posted by psykedelik in Random "Infotainmentical" Crap, Random Crap.
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Kickass t-shirts that I found here. Not all of them are awesome — but most of them are, so yeah. 😛 ummmm yeah, wohi! 😛

FREE!!! :P October 7, 2006

Posted by psykedelik in Random Crap.
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And I’ve decided to go back into my hole. I’ve switched my cellphone off — will probably sell it too. I am officially “cellphone-less” and “un-contactable” now. YAYYYYY!!! 😛

Blegh-ness — not to be confused with PMS :P October 7, 2006

Posted by psykedelik in Random Crap.
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I have no idea why I should be kinda depressed right now. I mean, my life’s pretty perfect at the moment — I love my job, I love the hours (it keeps me busy enough to satisfy my workaholic urges), the pay’s okay (nothing to write home about, but it’s okay, given the general journalism-doesn’t-pay-much refrain), I love my friends, everything else is pretty much perfect too.

Maybe all of this is long-forgotten, pent-up-and-repressed teenage angst which has come back to haunt me now that I’m in my twenties. Whatever it is, it is best explained by “Numb” — the only Linkin Park song I’ve ever liked.

And no, I’m not PMS-ed, just blegh-ed. 😛

I’m tired of being what you want me to be
Feeling so faithless
Lost under the surface
I don’t know what you’re expecting of me
Put under the pressure
Of walking in your shoes
[caught in the undertow, just caught in the undertow]
Every step that I take is another mistake to you
[caught in the undertow, just caught in the undertow]

I’ve
Become so numb
I can’t feel you there
Become so tired
So much more aware
I’m becoming this
All I want to do
Is be more like me
And be less like you.

Can’t you see that your smothering me
Holding too tightly
Afraid to lose control
‘Coz everything that you thought I would be
Has fallen apart right in front of you.

[caught in the undertow, just caught in the undertow]
Every step that I take is another mistake to you
[caught in the undertow,just caught in the undertow]
And every second I waste is more than I can take.

I’ve
Become so numb
I can’t feel you there
Become so tired
So much more aware
I’m becoming this
All I want to do
Is be more like me
And be less like you.

And I know
I may end up failing too

But I know
You were just like me
With someone disappointed in you.

I’ve
Become so numb
I can’t feel you there
Become so tired
So much more aware
I’m becoming this
All I want to do
Is be more like me
And be less like you.

I’ve
Become so numb
I can’t feel you there
[tired of being what you want me to be]

White Noise? October 7, 2006

Posted by psykedelik in Random Crap.
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It’s so totally, utterly-butterly peaceful outside right around this time (iftar + maghrib) — reminds me of Islamabad. DAMN I miss Islamabad!!!

In perspective, it also makes one realize how frikkin’ NOISY this city (Karachi) is! Incessant, background noise — “white noise,” so to speak. 😛 And annoying to the CORE!

The other day I was waiting for a cab at saddar (somewhere along the road that goes from the Hamdard University Hospital to Merrewether Tower), and I could barely hear myself speak! It’s a wonder Karachi’ites don’t go deaf at an extremely early age. 😛