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Fasi Zaka is a television host,[1] satirist,[2] political[3] columnist,[4] radio talk show host,[5] music critic,[6] academic[7] and Rhodes Scholar[8] in Pakistan. He is recognized for being one of the few media polymaths in Pakistan with a successful presence in print[9], television and radio, he is a public intellectual[10] who employs humour[11] from a political and democratic perspective[12] in his media forays.[13] Because of this extensive presence[14] he was declared one of Pakistan's newsmakers of the year in 2006.[15] Fasi Zaka also occasionally comments on the Pakistani media[16] and politics to National Public Radio (NPR).[17]

Contents

Background

Born on 9 October 1976 to a Pakhtun family from Charsadda, Zaka received his elementary schooling in Peshawar where he stayed until he acquired his Bachelor's degree from Edwardes College in Peshawar and Master's degree from the University of Peshawar. Zaka is also a University of Oxford postgraduate funded as a Rhodes Scholar [18]in the session 2001 - 03 from Somerville College where he was elected President of the MCR for Graduates and subsequently elected life member[19]. He is a member of the Mohammadzai tribe.

Work in Television

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On The Fringe

He rose to prominence in 2004 as the host of the off-beat program called On the Fringe[20] which he also scripted for Indus Music and later MTV Pakistan. It was a collaboration with his friend and cousin, Zeeshan Parvez. The show received critical appeal and is the only programme of Indus Music that MTV Pakistan kept in its original format once Indus Music was shelved to become MTV Pakistan. On The Fringe was thematically based as a guerilla interview programme that asked Pakistan's politically powerful entertainment figures counter culture, political questions and challenged prejudices. Fasi Zaka, already known to the public through On The Fringe, first came to the entertainment industry's attention after hosting the 3rd Annual Indus Music Awards, an event marked by mismanagement that became the material of Zaka's adlibbing.[21]

News, Views and Confused

On April 11, 2007, Zaka started to host and script a political and social satire show on one of Pakistan's leading TV channels, AAJ TV.[22] The show is called News, Views & Confused and it is also co-hosted by Nadeem F. Paracha and Mohsin Sayeed and is currently scripted by Zaka. The show received significant international attention through The Washington Post[23] and other publications[24] for its programmes during the second emergency declared during President Musharraf's rule in 2007 amidst a severe clampdown on press freedom.

Columns in Print

He is also a columnist[25] for the leading Pakistani newspaper, The News International, where he writes the weekly political[26] opinion[27] editorial column[28] The Pakistan Report Card[29] and the pop culture criticism column titled His Bigness[30] in the Instep segment of the Sunday edition. He also has a bi-weekly light humour diary column in the weekly magazine The Friday Times under the heading, Man Friday.[31] His columns about branding and branding strategy are also an occasional feature of the advertising magazine Aurora. As a writer some of his prominent themes have included bringing back rationality into civil discourse[32][33], politcal satire[34][35], debunking conspiracy theories that affect the national discourse in Pakistan[36], and taking on right wing conspiracy theorists and hate mongerers in the press[37][38]

Radio

Zaka headlines one of Pakistan's most listened to radio[39] shows,[40] The Fasi Zaka and Friends Show, on the Pakistani FM radio station Radio One FM 91, which is aired nationally. It has been the subject of features in the LA Times, and AFP[41] noting how it dispenses mass therapy and questions accepted truths[42]. The show is aired three times a week, and is known for its absurdist humour and liberal politics[43] embedded in the jokes. It was because of the show and its appeal that the British Council Pakistan linked up with Fasi Zaka to create Ace Encounter, an edutainment programme that used his appeal with the youth to send out educational advice.[44]

Professional

He currently works as Director Communications for an international intercultural organization in Islamabad. Previously, outside Fasi Zaka's media work, he was the "Head of Ideas" for the advertising agency, ADCOM, based in Islamabad. ADCOM is a Pakistani advertising agency and recently bagged the most Aurora Awards for Advertising.[45] He also consults, and has done work for the World Bank and the British Council. [46] He first worked for several years as an academic at the Institute of Management Sciences in Peshawar, NWFP

References

  1. ^ News Views & Confused
  2. ^ Is “fake” news more honest than “real” news?
  3. ^ http://www.france24.com/fr/20090708-jean-francois-cope-loi-interdiction-burqa-voile-integral-france-ump-deputes
  4. ^ minnesota.publicradio
  5. ^ FM Listening | Network shows on FM!: Sehrish Wasif
  6. ^ The News on Sunday
  7. ^ My Teen Years
  8. ^ The Saturday Post
  9. ^ http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-pakistan-failed28-2009apr28,0,1031409.story
  10. ^ http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-clinton-pakistan23-2009apr23,0,2538760.story
  11. ^ Who to look up to?
  12. ^ Pakistani protesters eager for Bhutto-Sharif deal
  13. ^ CLUBK
  14. ^ Fathoming Fasi Zaka
  15. ^ The fussy critic
  16. ^ The Big Digit Season Finale
  17. ^ Pakistan's Media Raises Its Voice
  18. ^ http://rebeccaconway.wordpress.com/category/pakistan/
  19. ^ http://student.some.ox.ac.uk/mcr/people/students01-02.shtml
  20. ^ Classics: Ali Azmat - IM on the Fringe
  21. ^ A comedy of errors
  22. ^ Aaj TV Online - Pakistan Ki Awaz
  23. ^ How Pakistan's Satirists Poke Fun, Politically
  24. ^ Fighting back with comedy and satire
  25. ^ http://indiatoday.digitaltoday.in/content_mail.php?option=com_content&name=print&id=2132
  26. ^ http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/la-fg-pakistan-radio2-2009sep02,0,4923520,full.story
  27. ^ http://articles.latimes.com/2008/aug/15/world/fg-musharraf15
  28. ^ The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - Opinions
  29. ^ The Pakistan report card
  30. ^ http://video.nytimes.com/video/2009/11/11/world/1247465633296/tuning-out-the-taliban.html?hp
  31. ^ The Friday Times
  32. ^ http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=162093
  33. ^ http://www.chowk.com/ilogs/74173/47351
  34. ^ http://fatimaarif.blogspot.com/2009/06/fasi-zaka.html
  35. ^ http://islamabad.metblogs.com/2008/08/07/no-problems-no-conflict-only-glory-pakistani-politics/
  36. ^ http://www.mcwetboy.net/maproom/2008/12/redrawn_middle.php
  37. ^ http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=137782%20
  38. ^ http://www.pkcolumnist.com/fasi-zaka/the-pakistan-report-card-english
  39. ^ http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-pakistan-summit5-2009may05,0,3463308.story
  40. ^ The Fuzzy Fasi Zaka!
  41. ^ http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/03-pakistani-comedians-fight-taliban-with-humour-ss-02
  42. ^ http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-pakistan-radio2-2009sep02,0,3982959.story?page=1&track=rss
  43. ^ http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/nov/20/pakistan-younger-generation-democracy-report
  44. ^ Career counseling fills in what some schools leave out
  45. ^ Pakistan Dawn Aurora Advertising awards
  46. ^ Critical thinking can help create indigenous research

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