Millennium Post

CNN to target Pakistan audience directly

CNN to target Pakistan audience directly
American news giant CNN International has signed an agreement with Pakistan’s Associated Group to start an Urdu news channel – its only broadcast affiliate in the country.

The agreement will give Dais, the Associated Group’s Urdu channel, access to a range of CNN video and news-gathering resources.

It will also grant CNN reciprocal access to Dais’s news coverage of Pakistan to complement its reporting from Islamabad bureau.

‘This broadcast agreement will enable us to augment our high quality coverage of news and events both in Pakistan and abroad by utilising news-gathering support from CNN,’ Dais chief executive Fasih Ahmed said in a statement.

CNN will also provide professional training to Dais’ news gathering team.

‘Our objective is to create premium news with style, dignity and grace,’ Ahmed said.

Besides covering Pakistan and its diaspora, Dais will feature selected CNN programming and news dubbed in Urdu.

The statement described Dais as Associated Group’s ‘flagship media project’.

Newsweek Pakistan was the first media enterprise of Associated Group, which was established in 1965.

Ringo Chan, senior vice president for CNN Broadcast Services and Affiliate Relations in the Asia Pacific, said Dais would join CNN’s broadcast affiliates who form a global network.

‘We look forward to working with Dais to provide CNN programming, training and video as they develop their network,’ he said.     


Pakistani authorities have blocked about 20,000 web sites, including YouTube, for hosting ‘objectionable’ material like footage from the anti-Islam movie Innocence of Muslims, an official said on Monday. ‘We have blocked 20,000 objectionable web sites and blogs since the blasphemous film surfaced on the Internet,’ an official of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority said. ‘We are strictly following the court’s orders in this regard,’ said the official who did not want to be named. He was referring to a sessions court in Lahore that ordered the registration of a case against the PTA Chairman for the organisation’s failure to block footage from the anti-Islam film on the Internet. ‘The PTA has not only blocked websites featuring the anti-Islam film but thousands of others with objectionable material,’ the official said. The crudely made anti-Islam film recently triggered violent protests across Pakistan that resulted in 23 deaths and the destruction of property worth billions of rupees. The official further said that the ban on YouTube is unlikely to be lifted in the near future.

‘The ban on YouTube will continue as long as it does not remove the blasphemous film. Pakistan can take no chances on lifting the ban as people are not ready to accept this film,’ he said. If YouTube continues sticking to its stance that it cannot block access to the anti-Islam film, the ban will continue for an indefinite period, he said. Internet users in Pakistan have been facing considerable problems since the ban on YouTube was imposed as measures put in places by the authorities have hindered access to several web sites operated by Google.   
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