This interview I took when I was working in Geo TV in 2012. This interview was posted on Geovision website. I am sharing some chunks of the interview over here for my readers.
Tall and impeccably dressed, he is currently one of the popular faces of Geo News who comes to your living room every other day. He does not like to be called Micheal Jackson, the other reason of fame among his fans for his resemblance to late pop singer. His charismatic persona is felt when he is around, he speaks his mind and inspires you by his eloquent speech. In the race of broadcasters, Muhammad Junaid is a breath of fresh air!
Born in Lahore, with a graduation degree in Journalism and Political Science, later trained by veteran broadcaster Poonam Sharma, Junaid joined Geo News on October 2009 after which there was no looking back. His potential to put on a congenial appearance even while reading heart-wrenching news is commendable. In short span of time, he has already proved himself by achieving a place in some of the top-notch news-casters.
Geo Vision provides you an opportunity to know more closely about your favorite news-anchor Muhammad Junaid who is in his own words; ‘love to relate with people’
Madiha Akhtar: Why you choose to be a news anchor?
Muhammad Junaid: It was coincidence or it was destined to be; but I love to connect with people and my job defines who I am.
MA: How did you enter the field of news anchoring?
MJ: After my studies, I joined the field as Associate Producer but it was actually a screen test that turned out to be a path changer in my career. During training period, it was Poonam Sharma, who discovered my talent of an anchor and rest is just history.
MA: According to you, 3 qualities that are needed to become a successful news anchor?
MJ: For me, they are (a) Sound knowledge (b) confidence and (c) ability to face the challenge.
MA: Do you think that looks are given more importance than knowledge for being an anchor…your take?
MJ: I do not find myself good-looking, but that does not matter a bit because my job is to speak and speak well! It used to happen previously but in the recent times, you cannot be a news-anchor if you have no knowledge. It’s important for a broadcaster to have a worldwide awareness and of course know-how of the past events for the reference. The trend has changed with the challenges associated and if one only relies on looks, they will not be able to survive for long in the field.
MA: Who is your inspiration in anchoring?
MJ: Anderson Cooper, Riz Khan and from Pakistan, Talat Hussain all the way! These are some of the anchors that have inspired me.
MA: Give one positive and negative point of being a news anchor?
MJ: For me, the positive point is that I can relate to people and my journalism is actually a way to connect with the masses. The drawback is to deliver news that people do not like to listen as it’s painful for instance suicide bombing, killing etcetera, though they don’t know that sometimes it is hard for me as well to read but I have to deliver no matter what are the circumstances because at the end of the day this is my job!
MA: While doing live bulletins, did you face any mishap?
MJ: Yes, there was one such blunder which was embarrassing. I had to talk to former DG ISPR to gather information on any incident, during the call; I made a grave mistake of fumbling the DG rank. He was actually a Major General and instead I was calling him Major for 3 to 4 times which my control room also noted.
MA: Your most memorable moment while doing news bulletin?
MJ: ‘Long March of Lawyers’ in 2009 was one such coverage that I felt proud to lead. I was appreciated for my work and it was a day of achievement—one of the best moments which still lingers in my mind.
MA: Any news that made you speechless or gave goose bumps? How did you recover yourself?
MJ: Nothing, so far but there was one time when I had a lack of concentration while I was giving the details of some survey; I felt really bad because I was unable to say anything and my job is to speak otherwise you are kicked out.
MA: What has been your favorite news that made your day?
MJ: When Nasim Hameed, a Pakistani athlete won the title of fastest runner in South Asia, it was just great feeling.
MA: In our present lot of politicians, who do you think is the rational one?
MJ: I can’t comment.
MA: Other than you, who is your favorite anchor in Geo TV?
MJ: Danish Anis Sheikh.
MA: Are you a planner? What goals you want to set now?
MJ: I do make plans, I think where I am today is just a starting point and my aim is to excel in field of broadcasting. Moreover, I want to earn respect through my profession and also want to be known as authentic journalist.
MA: How is your experience working with Geo till yet?
MJ: One of the best experiences of my life, where I have learned a lot by facing challenges and major happenings that has been great so far.
MA: To your fans, what you want to say?
MJ: Believe in yourself, never try to be over-confident and over-ambitious because humility is one of the keys to success.