We recently got a chance to sit down with the multi-talented Farooq Hassan.
Farooq is an anchor on PTV and conducted over 1500 live shows. He has over 22 hit serials to his name amongst numerous long plays. He is also a banker with a career spanning over 24 years and multiple senior roles in both Pakistan and abroad. Currently, he is an Executive Vice President and heads Government Business at the National Bank of Pakistan.
- What made you a journalist/TV anchor?
I had a knack for political science from school days. We used to discuss the political scenario of the country amongst friends. I felt that media can play a lead role in transmitting the truth and/or key vital info to the masses. It was and is a very powerful medium. I used to be a good debater in school and college. I decided to channelize my passion for political science and human behavior by becoming a journalist/ TV Anchor.
- Tell us a bit about your educational background and achievements you’re proud of.
I did my MBA from Institute of Business Administration Karachi with Bi-majors in Banking Specialization and Marketing. I taught at IBA also for 2 years. I give Guest Speaker sessions at leading institutions including NUST, IBA, Bahria University, Police Academy and Pakistan Navy War College. I have done National Security Workshop (Batch 18) from NDU, National Media Workshop (Batch 9) from NDU, International CPEC Workshop (Batch 1) from NDU and Maritime Security Workshop (Batch 3) from Pakistan Naval War College.
- You’re also a banker. What’s better: banking or journalism?
Banking is my profession and Journalism is my passion. Both are equally challenging and tough and though I focus more on my banking career, the passion for media drives me to take on challenging assignments in that field too.
- There’s more media education today but less media ethics. Why?
Commercialism is the main reason for this. There are more than 50 channels fighting for content and breaking news. The focus that used to be on the content and performance in yester years seems to have taken a back seat nowadays with the exception of a few media houses. In the race for breaking the news first, there is a lot of confusion and mayhem with hardly any follow-up on critical stories.
- Will our “entertainment” media ever come out of domestic issues?
That seems to be order of the day. The entertainment channels feel highlighting domestic issues is highly sellable and brings in the required TRPs and revenue. The trend needs to change and the process has to start from the top.
- Can PTV bring back its golden era of entertainment?
Yes, of course. PTV is the mother institution which has given all the media houses the relevant talent that shines today. A lot of overhaul and a focused approach is need though to bring PTV back to the Golden Era days. Gone are those individuals who used to be institutions in themselves. The back-up is definitely missing.
- You’re a seasoned motivational speaker. Do people actually get motivated?
I feel they do get motivated. Life is a gift of God and we should cherish each moment and make it worthwhile. We all need to come together and make the world a better place to live in for everyone!
- Every second person today is becoming a trainer and motivational speaker. What’s your take on this trend?
There is no harm in exploring or exploiting your talent. However, one must prepare properly before communicating with anyone as words are powerful and can have a deep impact.
- Any message for your fans?
My message is simple! Pakistan is our identity and we must all work towards making it a force to reckon with! Celebrate life and help humanity in any way that you can.
Each one of us should try and do at least one good deed daily. That ensures a comfortable sleep at night. Another message I would definitely give is ‘Never Give Up’!
You only lose when you give up. Keep on trying. God helps those who continue trying and make an effort!