Here are the first three paragraphs of my latest column for The News, about a fascinating workshop in which I had the opportunity to take part:
"This past weekend I flew across North America twice in three days, in order to be a panelist at an all-day workshop in New York. 'Brand Pakistan: Developing & establishing a positive brand' was conceived and organised by the Association of Pakistani Professionals, a US-based group founded after the World Trade Centre attack to help foster more accurate and constructive coverage of Pakistan in the Western media.
"The panel was moderated by Adil Najam, a journalist who is now a professor in the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Panellists included Mahreen Khan, former host of the BBC World show 'Question Time Pakistan' and now Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz's media advisor, who flew from Islamabad to take part; Danny Schechter, executive editor of MediaChannel.org; and Robin Thompson, senior branding advisor at Landor Associates.
"I was invited because my travel book Alive and Well in Pakistan aspires to humanise Pakistanis for a Western readership and to bridge the gulf in understanding and perspective between the West and the Muslim world -- as I also try to do weekly in this column. More than 100 Pakistani expatriates of all ages and walks of life attended and participated in the brand-building exercise in the afternoon. ..."
The full column is online here.
Last week's column, headlined "Some things are worth taking seriously," which I neglected to post last week, is online here.