Eminent journalist, political commentator Dr Mehdi Hasan passes away

Eminent journalist, political commentator Dr Mehdi Hasan passes away

Eminent journalist, political commentator Dr Mehdi Hasan passes away

For his services to journalism in Pakistan, he was awarded Sitara-i-Imtiaz by the President of Pakistan in 2012. Image: File

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LAHORE: The eminent journalist and professor of Mass Communication Dr Mehdi Hasan, 85, passed away on Wednesday after a protracted illness.

He is survived by his wife Rakhshanda Hasan, sons, grandchildren, brothers, nieces, nephews, and thousands of students.

Dr Hasan was a Pakistani left-wing journalist, media historian, Dean of Journalism and Mass Communication at the Beaconhouse National University, and a Professor of Mass Communication at the Punjab University. His teaching career spanned over 50 years.

He served as chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and was one of Pakistan’s prominent communication experts with a specialisation in political analysis.

One of the few media historians of Pakistan, Dr Hasan, was a regular commentator and panellist for TV news channels and radio stations.

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He authored many books on history, journalism, mass communication, and political parties. His book ‘The Political History of Pakistan’ is a widely used source of reference by journalists and producers.

His long-held personal view was that distortion of facts by news media is distorting our history.

A long-time human rights activist and member of the HRCP Governing Council, Dr Hasan wrote many papers on the subject and participated in multiple seminars.

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His qualification included a Ph.D. in mass communication, from Punjab University. He was a Fulbright Scholar (1990) at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he conducted research on “Coverage of Third World Countries in the American Mass Media.”

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He published research papers in the United States (US) and Pakistan.

As a journalist, he served as Pakistan Press International (PPI) sub-editor and reporter between 1961-67. He remained elected office-bearer of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) five times during this period.

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He also had been a news commentator and analyst for Pakistani television since 1964 and for Radio Pakistan since 1962.

National and international mass media outlets including Voice of America, BBC News, Deutsche Welle, and others regularly sought his opinion on political developments in Pakistan while he contributed articles in all major newspapers of Pakistan.

Photography was Dr Hasan’s hobby and passion which took him to the front line of the Lahore war zone in 1965, although he was not a professional photographer.

For his services to journalism in Pakistan, he was awarded Sitara-i-Imtiaz by the President of Pakistan in 2012.

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