YOUTUBE CHANNELS GAINING POPULARITY WITH ANCHORS By Mina Sohail

Is print close to being defunct in Pakistan? Is the future of television channels bleak to say the least? Will news mostly become digital now? These are some of the commonly posed questions to journalists these days by people who gather most of their news through their Twitter feed, Facebook shared posts or other online sources like websites of news channels. In January, Executive Director of Express News, Fahd Husain announced on Twitter that he has launched his YouTube channel where he would be “posting videos in Urdu and English regularly on topics that affect us and interest us.” On his channel, Mr. Husain has already given his personal viewpoint on imperative issues such as ‘Lessons India can draw from Pulwama attack’ and ‘Sahiwal murders and the trail of lies.’ A personal channel also gives anchors to comment on some topics that may not make it to mainstream news because of time constraints or again…filter. A very interesting video clip by Mr. Husain is on PTI’s Faisal Vawda’s ostentatious display of arriving in a bright yellow sports car at an official function. He also leaves his viewers with questions posed to them and they directly respond under the comments section. This gives those on the receiving end a direct communication link with anchors they listen to.

Another revered journalist Talat Husain also has a YouTube channel called “StraightTalkwithHussain.” It has over 27000 subscribers already. One of Mr.Hussain’s clips is on the Saudi Crown Prince’s visit to Pakistan. His delightful sarcasm mocks media that claimed the crown prince visited Pakistan for two days as he points out the stay lasted not more than 18 hours in total. Infact he even proposes the name of ‘Salmanabad’ for Islamabad given how the capital went overboard with its welcome for the crown prince. Now surely a comment like that would not find its way on television but clearly Mr. Hussain is uninhibited on his personal channel.

Chief Editor TFT and former chairman PCB Najam Sethi has announced on his Twitter account that NajamSethiOfficial Youtube channel will be launched in March where he would opine on complex issues. Faeza Dawood of “Focus with Faeza” also has a YouTube channel and Hum News Anchor Nadeem Malik regularly posts his television show clips on his channel as well.

There are many reasons why this would be a popular theme going forward. Many people feel that television channels are now being forced to say what authorities want them to say. A personal Vlog or channel would hopefully filter that and give people an uncensored view. If nothing else, it is an additional vehicle to put your point across and drives its own traffic. After all, according to Alexa.com, YouTube is the most visited site from Pakistan so here’s hoping it adds value to journalism in Pakistan.

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BY MINA SOHAIL

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