Talib Haider: “News is my passion”

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.

talib 2The passion of doing something new every other day landed him in the field of Journalism. A go-getter by nature, Talib Haider is a television journalist and a news presenter who loves every bit of his job.

Haider has joined the broadcast industry of Pakistan since 2004. Initially he started off with the business and finance news coverage; his specialty in business studies was the main support for his in-depth knowledge about the subject. There are lots of achievements under his belt.

In the span of time, he got an opportunity to be a part of special news coverage which varies from USA elections (2004 and 2008), UK general election (2010) to live reporting the aftermaths of Balakot and Muzzarafabad districts after 2005 earthquake. Apart from Business news, he had also co-hosted cricket world cup (2007) and football world cups (2006 and 2010).

Haider also presented main news bulletins featuring political, current affairs, sport, business and local news at Geo News.

With his suave demeanor and a twinkling passion in his eyes, Geo Vision brings you up close to Talib Haider who believes in planning ahead in his life.

Madiha Akhtar: Why you choose to be a news anchor?
Talib Haider:
Any job in a news channel is extremely dynamic, be it a producer, editor, reporter or a presenter. One has to be ahead of the clock, ‘all the time’. News presentation is just one end of it which viewers get to watch. I love it because of the very nature of the job; providing information to people. And doing something new every day, every hour, every minute feels extremely rewarding.

MA: How did you enter the field of news anchoring?
I guess it was something that developed on the job. As a business graduate from Institute of Business Administration (IBA), one of my strengths is presentation which helped me in getting into this field. Also, interest in the news and better general knowledge provided me off the screen support. But it was the curiosity of knowing everything that was undercurrent, which really developed my journalistic skills.

MA: According to you, three qualities that are needed to become a successful news anchor?
Firstly knowledge, secondly one should look presentable and lastly voice of the person. Two skills are pretty much; however, possessing three is a bonus.

MA: Who is your inspiration in anchoring?
TH: Jeremy Paxman, Larry King and Riz Khan.

talib 3MA: Give one positive and negative point of being a news anchor?
It is good to tell news to the viewers but the drawback is likewise; informing people about bad stories as well.

MA: While doing live bulletins, did you face any mishap?
Being a newscaster, it’s one of the essentials to avoid being emotional. However, we are not inhumane and of course sometimes it’s hard to control your emotions. I remember once there was a terrorism activity because of which many innocent children were killed—while giving the news, the female newscaster started sobbing continuously therefore I was called in immediately. But she was crying so badly that just by looking at her, my voice also got choked during the bulletin.

MA: Any news that made you speechless or gave goose bumps? How did you recover yourself?
Every day, all stories are important and can make any person speechless, yet we survive. There are some which when we think about, do make us speechless for some time though. For instance, the decisions of sacking of the Prime Minister by Supreme Court of Pakistan or the death of Osama bin Laden or the crash of Air Blue plane in Islamabad.

MA: What has been your favorite news that made your day?
I love the time when Pakistan cricket team wins any match or especially the stories in Eid – these are some of the stories which beams my face with joy while reading the news. The recent ‘save’ by the PIA pilot of flight PK787 going from Karachi to Islamabad carrying 167 passengers where the left engine stopped working but luckily, the pilot landed the plane safely.

talib haider 1MA: Among noted personalities at Geo News, who is your favourite one?
Kamran Khan because of his well-researched news analysis with focus mainly on the News.

MA: Other than you, who is your favourite anchor in Geo TV?
Danish Anis Sheikh; he is versatile and can present different formats.

MA: Your most memorable moment while doing news bulletin?
When Captain Wasi of MV Suez was released from the Somali pirates and he didn’t arrive in Pakistan yet; we arranged a telephonic conversation between Captain and his family especially his daughter; it was an extremely emotional moment.

MA: Are you a planner? Do you have any goals?
TH: I have always planned in life; otherwise it will be like driving on a road with no destination. Even after two masters in business and journalism, I want to study further.
I plan to do research to help mankind (haven’t decided which field). I also plan to write what I have learned in life, met people with great wisdom yet many do not know about them, and also share my travel experiences through my writing.

MA: How has been your experience working with Geo?
TH: Amazing, amazing, amazing. I love Team Geo, there are good days, bad days, yet every day is extremely dynamic. Each day is a new day with new challenges. Every person gives his/her best which is the best in the industry; so if you want to be the best and continue to be like that, this is the place.

MA: What you want to say to your readers?
A person’s goals are mainly divided into career/money, social/family, and dream /to be something/someone or to achieve something etc. Try to correctly define what you want to do in life and go for it. If you continue on the same path as you planned for a few years; you will or will be very close to achieving it.


Stand Out From The Crowd

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.

beenish saleem 1“Each day in the world of news makes you a strong person,” says chirpy, quick-witted Beenish Saleem.

Since she used to come in the night time bulletins, it’s save to say that she was the nocturnal face of Geo News. She is co-operative, humble and knows her work very well. Beenish started her career as a sports reporter from Lahore but before she realized, her luck played wonders with her and she became a news-anchor.

Geo Vision brings you up-close to Beenish Saleem whose outspoken and casual nature defines her true self.

Madiha Akhtar: Why you choose to be a news-anchor?
Beenish Saleem: Well, it was by chance. I was into reporting before and maybe because I used to speak well, therefore I landed into this profession. But I would still say that it was just a mere coincidence. However, people watch you on television and gradually you earned face-value by becoming a house-hold name.

MA: How did you enter the field of news anchoring?
BS: I graduated in Journalism studies from Beacon National University Lahore and joined the field as a sports reporter. It was my previous channel that gave me an opportunity to divert my career into news-anchoring. Later I become a part of Geo News as a full-fledged newscaster from July 2009.

MA: According to you, three qualities that are needed to become a successful news anchor?
BS: For me, firstly one needs to be well-versed; one should also look presentable and finally to be extra alert as even a second’s distraction can cost more than you can imagine.

MA: Do you think that looks are given more importance than knowledge for being an anchor?
Unfortunately, it’s a dilemma that our newscasters are mostly looked as newsreaders, our news audiences are wide and they cannot be fooled. It’s true that presentation matters but it’s not the only criteria to rely on. Change is inevitable nevertheless, but at the same time I want to add that we (news anchors) are the people who register the reporter to the minds of the people. In fact we are also the ones to bring story to the public.

MA: Who is your inspiration in anchoring?

BS: Barkha Dutt and Poonam Sharma from India; they are my inspiration only because I can relate to them as they have also started their career with reporting. They had to face more or less same struggle as any Pakistani female journalist has to go through.


MA: Give one positive and negative point of being a news anchor?
To be precise; you earn screen value as people recognize you which is the brighter side of being an anchor. But this is also one of the downsides because people relate to you and if any news disturbs anyone, so the news-anchors are blamed and ultimately they have to bear the brunt of the viewers’ revulsion.

MA: While doing live bulletins, did you face any mishap?
Yes, once a housefly entered the news studio and alas! In the entire place, she found my nose to sit on! I was giving my OC (on-camera) that time and therefore I had to be static for around 30-40 seconds. I cannot even remove the fly from my nose (sigh). It was an awkward moment for me because it came out very bad in front of camera.

MA: Your most memorable moment while doing news bulletin?
(Thinking hard) for now, there is none I think it is still to come.


MA: Any news that made you speechless or gave goose bumps? How did you recover yourself?
BS: There are many issues including the assassination of Salman Taseer, and even Malala issue that grabbed the attention of International community; these were some news that really gave me goose bumps. However, it was the death of veteran actor Jamil Fakhri which really made me speechless and I started weeping but then with the help of my control room, I collected and composed myself soon.

MA: What has been your favourite news that made your day?
BS: Shoaib-Sania wedding ceremony, an interesting story as the bride was from our neighboring country and it was nice to be part of something like this. Furthermore, the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton was a treat to watch. Even though these kinds of news are not implied to journalistic ethics but they spread happiness.


MA: Among noted personalities in news channels, who is your favourite one?
BS: Najam Sethi, he is not bias, his views are balanced and he presents an informative program.

MA: In present lot of politicians, who do you think is the rational one?
Former President Asif Zardari… I reckoned him as a true politician who knows what he is doing.

MA: Other than you, who has been your favourite anchor in Geo TV?
BS: There are two anchors that are my favourites, first is of course Danish Anis Sheikh. He is one such anchor who has the potential to do everything. He is basically a character anchor (she grins widely). The other one is Muhammad Junaid, who is also very good at his job.

MA: Are you a planner? Do you have any goals?
I have to learn a lot because learning is a life-long process for me. It’s just the beginning and more work needs to be accomplished. My aim is to make my own individuality, simply to stand out from the crowd.

MA: How was your experience working with Geo?
: Overall, it’s been a rocky and bumpy road, but a great journey so far.

MA: To the readers, what you want to say?

BS: Stop being judgmental please! There is some heart-wrecking news which also sends shivers down to our spine as well. Don’t judge us from outside because at the end of the day we are also ordinary people who are just doing our jobs.


Altamish Jiwa: A Man Of Few Words

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.

jiwa 2Casually dressed with a pleasant smile on his face, he updates viewers with recent happenings in the world of sports. His firm conviction, sincere passion and love for sports earn him recognition over a short period of time. A lively person by nature, Altamish Jiwa is one of the few sports anchors whose enthusiasm and passion for sports is reflected through his anchoring.

There is a saying, “You never achieve success unless you like what you are doing,” so it’s not wrong to say that Jiwa is one of the fortunate ones whose passion becomes his profession.

Jiwa joined media in 2005 as an intern at a business channel. His inclination towards sports leads him to the position where he is currently present now. As a sports anchor, he gets an opportunity to take exclusive interviews with the biggies of sports including the Tennis Maestro Roger Federer, world-class Boxer Amir Khan, Former World no.1 Tennis player Ana Ivanovic, the Giant killing Sweden’s Robin Soderling and many others.

May 2011 is the year when he made his way to the Geo News as a sports anchor. Here in this channel, he started off covering many local talents through his show. His lists of accomplishments continue to grow; recently he has also covered the T-20 world cup in Sri Lanka which proves a big boost to his professional career.

Despite his achievement, he hasn’t let success go to his head. He is humble yet energetic and his love for sports is his forte. Geo Vision brings you a light chit-chat with dynamic and ingenuous Altamish Jiwa who believes that whatever one strives to do in his life, it’s purely the will of Almighty.

Madiha Akhtar: Why you choose to be a Sports anchor?

Altamish Jiwa: It was a mere coincidence. My news-editor in my previous channel was the one who motivated me towards the profession of anchoring. After which there was no looking back.

Nevertheless I love what I do right now, and frankly speaking nothing excites me more than being close to ‘World of Sports’.

MA: How did you enter this field?

AJ: I joined media during my university days. One of my professors in my university was the one who forwarded my resume to the News channel. Although I never had any plan to enter the media industry, but I guess something are meant to happen and here I am!

MA: According to you, what three qualities are needed to become a sports anchor?

altamish-roger-federer-e1356378170340AJ: Firstly, one should have an immense love for sports. Secondly, passion for what one is doing. And finally, one needs to be super energetic. I believe it’s significant for a sports anchor to possess at least the above mentioned attributes, or else it can become quite boring for the person and viewers as well.

MA: Who is your inspiration in the field of anchoring?

AJ: Ali Mustafa, a Pakistani journalist and an anchor to whom I look up to. He is brilliant at whatever he does. Then a person whose work inspires me is a CNN anchor and correspondent Jonathan Mann.

MA: Give one positive and negative point of being a sports-anchor?

AJ: Everyday I feel upbeat at work because I am doing something what I love. Having said that, the drawback is obvious; you don’t get to enjoy the thrill of the game or be a part of any action, as you have to do your job. Moreover you have to act neutral and cannot show your inclination towards a particular player.

MA: While doing live shows, did you face any mishap? What was it?

AJ: Yes, there are many things that may go wrong in a live show. Once I forgot the correspondent name and though it was an embarrassing situation but as we say; ‘To err is human’. And what makes it apart is to not show any lines of fret on your face rather carry on with your work calmly.

MA: Your most memorable moment while doing shows?

AJ: During my career, I got an opportunity to meet the Tennis ace Roger Federer and fortunately also had an one-on-one interview with him. It is one of the best moments of my career because I really admire his game.

MA: Do you think that is there any scope for sports anchor in Pakistan?

AJ: Previously there was only one channel and in those times one might see very few people opting for the sports beat. However, as the media is evolving day by day, more and more opportunities are created for the budding talent to take up the career professionally. Though still more awareness is needed for recognition among the masses but I believe something is better than nothing.jiwa 3

MA: Do you think that looks are given more importance than knowledge for being an anchor…your take?

AJ: For me, I think there should be a balance of both presentation and knowledge.

MA: What has been your favorite news in the field of sports that made your day?

AJ: I used to host a segment ‘Local Sports’ on Geo News where I covered our local athlete. It was a great feeling to see our local talent doing something good in sports and as a sports anchor, bringing any news of their small or big achievement to the limelight made me happy.

MA: Who has been your all-time favorite sportsperson?

AJ: Roger Federer all the way! Even though he is a big star but he does not throw any tantrums. Personally I found him a very humble human being.

MA: Other than you, who is your favorite anchor (sports/entertainment/weekly) in Geo TV?jiwa 5

AJ: Danish Anis, Fatima Saleem and Marium Ismail—what I like about all three of them is their presentation which is very lively and exciting. Besides they are fun to watch.

MA: What are your goals for future?

AJ: I want to pursue my career in the field of sports and do something extraordinarily good. Furthermore, my plan is to switch on to the production side.

MA: How has been your experience working with Geo channel?

AJ: I am happy to be a part of TeamGeo. The organisation has given me an opportunity to cover the T20 world cup in Sri Lanka which became a life-changing experience for me. Most importantly I am grateful to Almighty Allah who has provided me a great platform to progress.

MA: Your message to readers!

AJ: Don’t come for the glamour! A person who truly enjoys sports and has a passion for it, this field is for them. Therefore if you want to join the media as sports journalist, be here for the right reason because it’s a great profession to be in…


jiwa quickie