Various Newspaper Chains in Pakistan

Various Newspaper Chains in Pakistan

Q.5 Discuss the various newspaper chains in Pakistan.

Various Newspaper Chains in Pakistan:

         The typical Pakistani newspaper is of regular rather than tabloid size, averaging about 20 pages per issue. Most newspapers have a weekend, midweek, and magazine section. All the leading newspapers, including Jang , Nawa-e-Waqt , Dawn , The Nation The News International , and Business Recorder , have online editions

The All-Pakistan Newspaper Society (APNS) estimated that the total combined circulation figure for daily newspapers and other periodicals was 3.5 million in 1997. Print media included 424 dailies, 718 weeklies, 107 fortnightlies, and 553 monthlies. Deficient literacy rates, urban orientation of the press, and the high price of newspapers are considered primary factors contributing to low circulation rates.


Jang Group

Jang Group is the top daily newspaper with a circulation of 850,000. Nawa-e-Waqt holds second place with 500,000, followed by Pakistan (279,000), Khabrain (232,000), The News (120,000), Dawn (109,000), and Business Recorder (22,000).

The three most influential newspapers in Pakistan are the daily Dawn in English, the daily Jang in Urdu, and the daily Business Recorder in the area of business and finance. The average price of a newspaper varies from Rs 5 to Rs 15. For example, Business Recorder costs Rs 7 per issue.

Digicom, a private e-mail provider, brought Internet access to Karachi in 1995. Nationwide local access was established within one year, and by 1999 was available to 600,000 computers, 60,000 users by 3,102 Internet hosts. Internet capabilities provided news media with a means for reaching overseas Pakistanis. All leading newspapers, including Jang , Nawa-e-WaqtDawnThe Nation,The News International , and Business Recorder , have online editions. In addition, Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation and Pakistan Television Corporation both have web sites accessible to the public.

Three main groups dominate Pakistan: the Jang Group, the Herald Group, and the Nawae-Waqt Group. Jang Publications is the largest media group and holds a virtual monopoly of Urdu readership in Sindh, Rawalpindi-Islamabad federal territory, and major shares in Lahore and Quetta. Jang also publishes the largest circulating weekly magazine in Urdu, Akhbare-Jehan , and two evening papers, the Daily News and Awam . The News , the first Pakistani newspaper to use computers in all steps of production, is also a publication of the Jang Group.

Pakistan Herald Publications Ltd.:

Pakistan Herald Publications Ltd. publishes Dawn , which has had a dominant hold over Karachi readership. The Herald Group also publishes the Star (an English evening paper) and The Herald (an influential English monthly). The group also began a monthly that focuses on the Internet, entitled Spider . Publications under the Herald Group target the upper class and the better-educated segment of Pakistani society and consequently practice a liberal editorial policy

The Nawa-e-Waqt Group publishes Nawa-e-Waqt and also started The Nation , an English daily. This group also publishes Family , an Urdu weekly.

Several other significant groups and independent publications also exist. The notable daily newspaper chains that have started during the late 1990s and early 2000s include Khabrain , PakistanAusaf , and Din . The Frontier Post , Business Recorder , and Amn are also other important dailies.

Political parties own two major newspapers: the Jasarat , controlled by the conservative Jannat-e-Islami, and Mussawat , controlled by the Pakistan People’s Party.

From 1964 into the early 1990s, the National Press Trust acted as the government’s front to control the press. The state, however, no longer publishes daily newspapers; the former Press Trust sold or liquidated its newspapers and magazines in the early 1990s.

In April 1989, Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s government decided to end this manipulative practice. By replacing the permit system with a free and open import of newsprint at market prices, the government removed its interventionist dimension in controlling an essential raw material for the press and also ended the corruption that had grown up around the issuance and receipt of the newsprint import permits.

In 1991, however, the first government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif restored the system of issuing permits. The Audit Bureau of Circulation, which functions under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, was responsible for assessing the circulation and print orders of newspapers and magazines and issuing certificates legitimizing these figures. The bureau certificates became the basis on which journals were able to import proportionate quantities of newsprint and secure government-controlled advertising through the clearance given by the Press Information Department. Corrupt practices have been associated with the ABC operation.

The current government of General Musharraf has considerable leverage over the press through its control over newsprint, its substantial budget for advertising and public interest campaigns, and its ability to enforce regulations.

Privately owned newspapers freely discuss public policy and criticize the government. They report remarks made by opposition politicians, and their editorials reflect a wide range of views. The effort to ensure that newspapers carry their statements or press releases sometimes leads to undue pressure by local police, political parties, ethnic, sectarian, and religious groups, militant student organizations, and occasionally commercial interests. Such pressure is a common feature of journalism and can include physical violence, sacking of offices, intimidation and beating of journalists, and interference with distribution of newspapers. Journalists working in small provincial towns and villages encounter more difficulties from arbitrary local authorities and influential individuals than their big-city counterparts do. Violence against and intimidation of journalists, however, is a nationwide problem.

Government leaks, although not uncommon, are managed carefully; it is common knowledge that journalists, who are routinely underpaid, are on the unofficial payrolls of many competing interests, and the military (or elements within it) is presumed to be no exception. For example, according to the All Pakistan Newspaper Society, favorable press coverage of the Prime Minister’s family compound south of Lahore was widely understood to have been obtained for a price. Rumors of intimidation, heavy-handed surveillance, and even legal action to quiet the unduly curious or non-deferential reporter are common.

Special-interest lobbies are not in existence in Pakistan as in the United States and elsewhere, but political pressure groups and leaders include the military, ulema (clergy), landowners, industrialists, and some small merchants.

A Print, Press and Publications Ordinance, requiring the registration of printing presses and newspapers, was allowed to lapse in 1997 after several years of waning application. In practice, registering a new publication is a simple administrative act and is not subjected to political or government scrutiny. There are no registration or licensing processes for journalists. New newspapers and presses are required to register themselves with the local administration.



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