Celebrating Diwali at the 216 year-old Shri Swaminarayan temple in Karachi, Pakistan

November 14, 2020

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Memorial wall built to commemorate the victims of Baldia factory fire in Karachi, Pakistan (Photo: Author)

A memorial wall built in the lawn of the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER) — a non-profit organisation working for labour rights, peace and advocacy for the past 35 years, comprised 258 brick stands. Brick by brick the names of the deceased victims of the ill-fated Baldia Factory Fire were inscribed on the wall, which commemorates the loss of precious lives.

It’s been more than six years since the fatal fire incident took place. On September 11, 2012, a massive fire at the Ali Enterprises (Pvt. Ltd.) — a four-storey garments factory located in the Baldia Town area — burnt 258 workers alive and injured about 59. The number of deaths, as a result of the fire, still remains contentious. Official estimates suggest the number was 258 while others quote it to be 260. A few unofficial sources have also quoted it to be 285. …


In a city taken over by fast moving cars, bikes and minibuses, ghora gari wala Nabi Amaan is trying best to keep the legacy of the royal ride alive

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Coachman Nabi Amaan poses for a photograph with Raju and his victoria at the Frere Hall, Karachi. (Photo: Author)

A tapestry of time unfolds as I try to recall the first instance of stepping onto a ghora gari (horse-drawn carriage) at age four or maybe even younger.

My maternal and paternal grandparents would often treat me like royalty on our short trips around the city aboard this royal-esque ride: oftentimes, making it to Saddar’s Jehangir Park, the good ol’ Frere Hall and Clifton’s Jehangir Kothari Parade among a few of the many landmarks of Karachi in the early 1990s. …


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PHOTO CREDIT-ASIYA KHAKI

Technology. This word rules our life as much as the term ‘fake news’ does these days. But many people around the world are still trying to wrap their heads around the idea of the former taking over their lives in almost every aspect. From once making calls to now communicating via AR, the use of smartphones and other technology products have left humankind in awe of its power.

These groundbreaking developments have also made their presence felt in journalism. The idea of making their audience experience the feeling of ‘being there’, using innovative and immersive storytelling techniques in modern journalism, is what journalists today are getting pro at. The use of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) is no more just a thought. Young and driven journalists are challenging themselves each day to bring something new to the table. …


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PHOTO CREDIT: MARIAN SILJEHØLM PHOTOGRAPHY

In anticipation of the November 3 US presidential elections and the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak in the country, The Coalition For Women In Journalism (CFWIJ) had a chat with New York based journalist Grace Panetta. Grace works as a senior politics reporter for Business Insider. She covers elections and voting for the publication. In this interview with CFWIJ, Grace tells us about her experience of working as a reporter covering one of the most monumental events this year, how Covid-19 impacted the process and decisions relating to the elections in the country and the way she handles reporting in the era of misinformation and disinformation. …


In conversation with the editor-in-chief of The Public Source

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Photo Credit: Lynn Chaya

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is notorious for its treatment of journalists. The state of press freedom in most countries across MENA has deteriorated in the last few years and continues to threaten journalists trying to do their jobs. Press and media in Lebanon are vulnerable to laws that can be weaponized against them. While a certain faction of press and media in the country is highly politicized, even divided to an extent, the individuals and platforms that value independent journalism have vowed to disseminate the truth.

Lara Bitar, editor of The Public Source — a Beirut-based independent media organization, is one such voice who fearlessly reports the often overlooked realities of Lebanon. The Coalition For Women In Journalism (CFWIJ) spoke with Lara to understand how she runs The Public Source, the stories it delves into, the challenges faced, and the strategies required to make the platform sustainable. She also discussed the matter of accountability and governance in Lebanon amidst the on-going crises. …


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Photo credit: Miguel Tovar/Getty Images

Femicide, drugs cartels, corruption, violence and organized crime — a few keywords that have taken hold of Mexico. The country, despite its vibrant culture and rich indigenous history, has become infamous for its violence. While life in Mexico is relatively affordable, it is overshadowed by the cost of criminal groups and drugs lords. Simply being a woman adds another layer of vulnerability.

At least 645 women were killed between January and August this year. The Mexican government recorded at least a 2.2 percent rise in gender-based killings of women in 2020, as compared to 2019, as stated in a report by the Executive Secretary of the National Public Security System. Sexual assaults also increased by 57 percent. …


Women journalists share apprehensions of reporting under the controversial law with radical changes on display

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Photo credit: Isaac Lawrence/AFP

Hong Kong’s new national security law came into effect on June 30. Roughly one month later, citizens of this Special Administrative Region controlled by The People’s Republic of China witnessed unprecedented oppression of the press. Jimmy Lai, a 72-year-old media tycoon, was handcuffed and arrested from his home by Hong Kong police on August 10, for allegedly “colluding with foreign forces”. Headquarters of Apple Daily, a flagship newspaper operating under his media company Next Digital, were raided by 200 officers following the arrest.

Hong Kong police tweeted that seven other people were taken into custody on “suspicion of breaches of the #NationalSecurityLaw”. The tweet further stated that the “offences include collusion with a foreign country/external elements to endanger national security, Article 29 of the #NSL” and that an investigation was underway. …


How women journalists here, navigate reporting a year after the lockdown.

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Photo credit: Umer Asif

In the past one year, Kashmir has witnessed the most heinous human rights violations and conflict situations. After the abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35(A), people living in the valley have lived through strict security blockades and communications blackouts — and continue to live a life that is anything but free.

After the lockdown — to counter protests disapproving the annulment of the two Articles — was imposed, the internet was shut down, mobile services were snapped and travel to and from the valley came to a halt — thanks to the Indian government that left no stone unturned in making the lives of Kashmiris miserable. …


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On August 4, around eight minutes after the clock struck six in the evening, Beirut witnessed one of the most horrific explosions in its history. The city was left devastated after 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate blew off in Hanger 12 of its port area. It remained lying there without any safety measures in place since 2014. More than 180 people died, thousands were injured and over 300,000 were left homeless as a result of the blasts. …

About

Rabia Mushtaq

Journalist | Researcher

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