Was Dawn story journalistically okay?

What would any journalist do in similar circumstances?

You are told that the civilian and military leadership talked behind the closed doors. Civs accused the military of protecting certain unwanted non-state elements. You are told that the civilians got tough, gave a stern message to sort it out, and the meeting was over.

Now you get to your desk and write it… adding visual details and adjectives. Using descriptive phrases like…

“Extraordinary verbal confrontation between Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and the ISI DG”

AND

“The foreign secretary’s unexpectedly blunt conclusions triggered an astonishing and potentially ground-shifting exchange between the ISI DG and several civilian officials.”

AND

“Astounded onlookers describe a stunned room that was immediately aware of the extraordinary, unprecedented nature of the exchange.”

When you are done writing, it is no more a news; it is a news-story. You have added something to it, which you might call value addition… but I would call it speculation.

So what next, VERIFICATION? Continue reading

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