Azhar Abbas

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Azhar Abbas is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Bol TV network, he was previously the Managing Director of Geo News. Mr. Abbas is one of Pakistan’s top television executives. With years of experience and education in both print and broadcast journalism he has learnt the skills and knowledge needed to excel in the industry.

A natural leader, Azhar Abbas was a political activist in his student life , struggling against General Zia-ul-Haq’s tyrannical rule. This led him to join“RoshanKhayal,” a thinking person’s Urdu magazine in the late eighties. In 1988, democracy was restored in Pakistan toppling the 11 year Martial Law regime. This was when Abbas wrote the book “Army Democracy & People.”The insightful book discussed that though at that point military has no choice but to restore democracy, it is not in the interest of the military to let democracy flourish in the long run.

Azhar Abbas entered the world of mainstream journalism in 1990 as a reporter for the, English daily The News.

After three years of working as a reporter at The News he secured a Fulbright Scholarship for training in journalism. The scholarship took him to Boston University, where he was educated in the theory and practice of journalism. He then moved to Syracuse to attend prestigious Newhouse School of Communication, where he studied broadcast journalism and realized that television will be the medium of future for Pakistan.

Upon his return to Pakistan he, with a team of people, launched Pakistan’s first private sector TV program Pakistan Business Update. The program bring into Pakistan modern broadcast journalism into Pakistan. The program provided the base for other private sector companies to start investing in electronic media.

He simultaneously joined the reputed, news and views magazine, Herald and began reporting on political and economic issues.

In addition to these responsibilities he also reported for a number of international publications such an Indian news magazine Outlook, the widely circulated daily USA Today and served as correspondent to NBC and CNBC.

During his career as a reporter he had the chance to interview several noted personalities such as, Fidel Castro the Cuban political leader and former socialist revolutionary, former Indian Prime Ministers Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Vishwanath Pratap Singh. Amongst Pakistani personalities he interviewed former Pakistan Prime Ministers Benazir Bhutto, Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif, Shaukat Aziz, Former President Pervaiz Musharraf and almost all top political and business leader ship of Pakistan, he also reported extensively on the Afghan war and the elections in Pakistan, India and UK.

He showed great promise as an investigative journalist, when he broke the story on cricket match fixing in 1998, exposing the real players behind this “game”. The story let to an official investigation on the scandal.

In June 1999, Abbas’ cover story for Herald Magazine, “THE CREEPING COUP” became the talking point in domestic and international media and political circles. He predicted that military is once again ready to directly come into power and only looking for an opportunity. His fears turned out to be true, as only a few months later the military took over power in a bloodless coup.

In 2001, ten months before the transmission of Geo News begun, he joined the core team that launched the channel as its first Director News. Abbas’ dedication, journalistic sense and managerial skills helped the organization develop an unbeatable team at Geo Network.

Given his exceptional experience and education in broadcast journalism he in 2007 was also approached by Pakistan’s first English language T.V channel, DawnNews to help in its launch. He joined DawnNews as Director News and Current Affairs. But his long relationship with The Jang Group, couldn’t keep him away for too long, and he returned to Geo News.

He has participated many national and international forums on journalism and public policy. He played a key role in making the code of ethics for journalists about coverage of terrorism and anti-terror operations. He has written many reports on how to cover in a hostile environment and the challenges Pakistani journalists face in this regard.

Mr. Abbas is the the founding pillar of the Bol News Network and intends to take broadcast journalism in Pakistan to its next step by making it more credible and as close a representation of the people of the nation as possible.

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