APP asked to diversify news content, expand reach to meet challenges of digital media environment

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ISLAMABAD, Feb 18 (APP):Secretary Information Akbar Hussain Durrani Tuesday asked the national wire service – Associated Press of Pakistan, to diversify its news content, expand its reach and adopt innovative techniques to meet the challenges of a rapidly evolving digital media environment.

The Secretary, who visited different sections of headquarters of the wire-service,
was given a detailed briefing on measures, being taken to bring about a qualitative improvement in the news content and addition of new services to address requirements
of its wide range of clientele.

MD APP Dr Tariq Mahmood said efforts were afoot to make the news agency self-reliant and sustainable. He said keeping in view the changing professional requirements, the news agency was undergoing a restructuring, aimed at improving the ratio of editorial and non-editorial staff.

He said the APP plans to increase its journalistic strength to 70 percent of total staff, as compared to the current 50-50 ratio.

The Secretary Information directed that the APP also expand its news collection setup by adding District Correspondents from the districts, not yet connected. He also called for improving its news exchange cooperation with other news agencies and media outlets for mutually beneficial professional news exchange.

Earlier the Secretary visited the studios of the Video Service of APP, which is also operating a web television channel on trial basis.

He was also informed about the indigenously developed news processing software, the virtual expansion of Central News Desk, that allows editors at Lahore to work in sync with the head-office at Islamabad. He was informed about an online portal for internal communications in the news section, in a move towards a paperless environment.

He was informed about the provision of news filing software for its field reporters, allowing them to send news directly to the Central News Desk, to cut delay in news processing. The Secretary was appreciative of the major improvements and hoped it would lead to provision of a better service for APP’s large subscriber base including local and international dailies, news channels, business houses and web portals.

The APP is currently providing over 1200 news items for its subscribers in English,
Urdu and five regional languages, besides over 100 photos and videos to its clients.

The Information Secretary was also informed about the series of trainings for all tiers of staff for capacity building and release of quality news content. Akbar Durrani asked the APP to increase intake of fresh university interns, not only to improve their capacity, but also to help them turn out as true professionals. He also asked for adding in more clients
by providing them customized solutions, so as to generate more revenue.