Senator Mushahidullah Khan urges columns to be unbiased, just in their writings

Islamabad, June 16, 2015 (PPI-OT): Federal Minister for Climate Change, Senator Mushahidullah Khan, said that role of columnists in different newspapers and magazines in country’s overall socio-economic uplift cannot be underestimated. However he urged the columnists to make their writing pieces more solution-oriented and less issue-oriented.

“It is a bit challenging for columnists to highlight socio-economic issues and suggest possible, viable remedial measures for them while being truthful, fair, unprejudiced and unbiased,” Mushahidullah Khan said on Thursday during his keynote address to a large gathering of columnists from different parts of the country.

The gathering of the columnists was organized by Columnists Council of Pakistan (CCP) in collaboration with daily Tareekh, a France-based international Urdu newspaper. Held here at the Sir Syed Memorial, the event was organized to draw government’s attention towards problems of the columnists.

The minister said that columns published in print media are important pieces, which often prove guidelines for the government in terms of framing and implementing socio-economic policies and programme.

“Being different from news items, features and articles, column pieces allow writers to include their own voice and express an opinion. But, to be successful the columns must be grounded in solid research,” he highlighted.

Mushahidullah added that the research for such writings involves acquiring facts, quotations, citations or data from credible sources and personal observations. Such research also allows a reader to include sensory data (touch, taste, smell, sound or sight) into a column.

“Yet having a strong voice is critical to a successful column writer. While columns are most typically conversational in tone, so you can imagine yourself have a conversation with your reader as you write a short and focused conversation. Besides, Different sorts of voices are used in columns, such as contemplative, conversational, descriptive, experienced, informative, informed, introspective, observant, plaintive, reportorial, self-effacing, sophisticated or humorous, among many other possibilities,” Mushahidullah Khan elaborated.

He highlighted that columns are credible and most-read, which are free from any prejudice of religion and colour, caste and creed, favouritism, eulogy or needless/baseless criticism. “Above all, being a columnist carries the responsibility of being supportive of your sources, getting the facts straight, and not embroiling in conflicts of interest. All of these challenges are relished by a good columnist and if you’re a keen writer plus a lover of communication, then being a columnist may be just the job of pride for any columnist,” the senator Mushahidullah Khan stressed.

The good columns are source of knowledge and enlightenment for everyone, particularly today’s young generation. But, it is a matter of worry that today’s young people hardly bother to take out time and read the informative, analytical columns published in various newspapers and magazines. One of the major cause is excessive use of interest, he bemoaned.

The federal minister, however, urge the young generation to develop interest and taste for reading the informative pieces, which can bear good lessons for their lives. He also paid tribute to the columnists, who have served the society and contributed in the national development through writings.

For more information, contact:
Muhammad Saleem
Deputy Director
Media and Communication
Ministry of Climate Change
Government of Pakistan
LG and RD Complex, G-5/2, ISLAMABAD
Ph: 051-9245565