Hyderabad to host world Urdu editors conference
Urdu newspapers from India, Pakistan and other countries will
participate in the World Urdu Editors Conference to be held here
The two-day event, being organised by Urdu daily Siasat, will
discuss the problems faced by Urdu newspapers and Urdu
Hyderabad: India's Vice President Hamid Ansari Friday called upon Urdu newspapers to mould taste and
cajole their readership in the direction of contemporary issues.
Inaugurating the World Urdu Editors Conference here, he advised
the newspapers to go beyond catering only to the older age groups
and focusing on older and familiar grievances. He asked them not
to play down the stories which may be of particular interest to
Ansari noted that despite the overall increase in population, the
percentage of Urdu speakers to total population has registered a
Speaking in Urdu, the vice president said the problems confronting
the Urdu print media include many of a unique nature with a
Noting that the demarcation between journalism, public relations,
advertising and entertainment has been eroded because of the new
media devices available and the commercial considerations
involved, Ansari called for developing methodologies of retaining
the essence of these attributes in the new surroundings of the
"Other problems of Urdu media relate to resources, advertisements,
news gathering methodology and adaptation of new technology," he
"A good newspaper should cater both to public demand and to the
need to shape this demand. Only then would it be in a position of
opinion-maker. News coverage needs to move away from the purely
sectional interests to what would satisfy a wider audience," he
Referring to Urdu journalism's role in India's freedom struggle,
he said those familiar with the history of freedom struggle recall
with pride the May 17, 1857, issue of Maulvi Mohammad Baqar's
newspaper "Delhi Urdu Akhbar" that came to be known as the "Inquilab"
Ansari pointed out that the end of British rule and the partition
had an unwelcome consequence for Urdu journalism.
Eminent Pakistani journalist Tariq Mahmood Shaam stressed the need
for investigative journalism in Urdu to solve people's problems.
The head of editorial board at ARY Network said though Urdu was
the official language of Pakistan, more efforts were being made
for promotion of the language in India than in his country.
Urdu was supposed to become the language of Pakistan's official
machinery in 1988 but it is yet to happen and the new date set for
this purpose is March 23, 2012, he noted.
"There are certain villages in Pakistan where Urdu is banned but
the language is developing despite this chauvinism. Urdu is the
language which links people speaking various languages like Sindhi
and Punjabi," Shaam said.
According to him, there are 2,000 Urdu dailies in Pakistan. "There
are also over 60 television channels in Urdu. Even Dawn had to
launch a channel in Urdu. But the tragedy is that the
organizations using Urdu are becoming richer but the Urdu language
is becoming poorer."
Andhra Pradesh Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan advised Urdu newspapers
to avoid sensationalism and formulate their own code of conduct.
He said the newspapers were still relevant and had a greater
responsibility of building a society.
Zahid Ali Khan, editor of "Siasat", mooted the idea of a
consortium of Urdu newspapers in India to create a common news
pool. He said "Siasat" is ready to provide the news in Urdu for
all Urdu newspapers.
"This would save time and energy of the newspapers in translating
the news into Urdu and they can use it for financially
strengthening themselves," he said.
Khan also announced insurance policy of Rs.100,000 for each of the
Urdu journalists who would be part of the proposed consortium. "Siasat"
would be paying premium for the insurance.
Over 40 editors and eminent Urdu journalists from India, Pakistan,
Canada, Britain and the United Arab Emirates are attending the
two-day conference, organised by "Siasat".