I’m a journalist, media trainer and community developer. I hold the old journalistic values of integrity, fairness and balance very close to my heart. And I wholeheartedly believe in the value of going to the public wherever they are and learning about how people live, what they worry about and what they aspire to; this to me is the heart and soul of journalism and what I seek to teach others.
I began my career as a business reporter over 20 years ago and spent the latter half of that time as the Pakistan bureau chief of Bloomberg News. Prior to that, I wrote for Forbes Magazine in New York, the Asia Times newspaper in Bangkok and The Friday Times, The Daily Times, Herald Magazine, Newsline Magazine and Dawn Newspaper in Pakistan.
I grew up in Karachi and have lived and worked in London and New York where I was also the recipient of the Foreign Press Association annual award. I have an economics degree from the London School of Economics and a Master’s degree in business journalism from New York University. I have also trained in Singapore, New Delhi and Tokyo.
I spent a decade covering companies, markets and the economy; reporting on issues, conducting interviews with top officials and writing profiles and features. About a decade into my career, I visited dozens of villages across Sindh to spend time with farming and desert communities and report on the rural economy. Those travels resulted in a body of journalistic work I was proud of but alongside that I also developed a deep sense of despair. As a journalist I was writing about people living in extreme poverty; their suffering was my fodder and something about that was very distressing.
As a result of that work, I founded the Ali Hasan Mangi Memorial Trust in 2008 as an integrated rural development project working to provide families with education, healthcare, electricity and basic services in upper Sindh. Read more about this work at http://www.alihasanmangitrust.org.
I also teach journalism and train reporters and writers on covering business, poverty & development, multimedia journalism, interviewing skills, media ethics, feature writing and beat reporting among other topics. In today’s world of digital and social media, instant information and citizen journalism, I feel that journalists more than ever need grounding in the very basics of news and ethics. I’m passionate about teaching reporters and editors the irreplaceable value of good old shoe leather reporting and the seeking out of stories about people unheard and unseen.