Pakistan: English-language DawnNews TV channel starts transmissions
Friday, May 25th, 2007

Text of report by Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) news agency

DawnNews, Pakistan’s first English language TV News Channel, started its test-transmission this evening [24 May] from its head office at Karachi. The 24 hours broadcast of DawnNews will be fed by a network of newsroom and studios located at Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore and supported by a string of news bureaus located in other towns and cities in Pakistan.

DawnNews is owned by Pakistan Herald Publications (Pvt) Ltd, the publishers of daily Dawn. It comprises a national and international network of over 300 journalists and correspondents.

The news network also boasts of a team of veteran journalists and qualified newcomers demonstrating a strong reliance on non-traditional areas of news such as environment, education and fine arts. “The synergy of a young generation of film makers and news journalists at DawnNews is expected to gradually transform Pakistan’s information scene”, said a spokesman of Pakistan Herald Publications.

“In our endeavour to establish DawnNews, we are enormously helped by our legacy - The legacy of Dawn, that was founded by the Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah on 14 August 1947 in Karachi, the same day our nation was born. “We believe that by facilitating access to information of the highest quality and with a defined commitment to clarity and accuracy, we can enable Pakistan’s young generations to assume their place as informed citizens of the World,” the spokesman said.

The news channel is being transmitted free to air as of today and may be viewed in Pakistan either via cable or through a satellite receiver. Its satellite footprint covers a wide area stretching from the Middle East across South Asia, up to Malaysia and Singapore.

At present the transmission is being conducted courtesy a temporary up-linking permission granted by Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA).

The prospects for acquiring a permanent licence for DawnNews inched a few steps ahead last week when a public advertisement issued by PEMRA announced the holding of mandatory public hearings in Karachi on 30 May, usually set up prior to the issuance of a licence, the spokesman said.

(Source: Associated Press of Pakistan news agency, Islamabad, in English 1633 gmt 24 May 07 via BBC Monitoring)