Pakistan Shift

Pakistanis are using the arts, technology, law, politics and sports to push back against the forces of militancy and corruption. Verista supports the effort to report these stories of change.

This fundraising effort began on Indiegogo, but continues via Verista. You can donate using the button at the bottom of this page.

Militancy, corruption, and violence dominate the news about Pakistan. The country’s public profile is associated with a variety of security threats and Pakistanis are often written about as either perpetrators or victims of injustice.

But Pakistan, a country of more than 200 million people, is undergoing a tremendous shift. While militancy, corruption, and violence are indeed a part of everyday life, Pakistanis are also using the arts, politics, technology, law, and sports, to push back against these forces and create a space for Pakistanis to have a conversation about what they want their country to look like. Their efforts are creating a deep shift not only in civil society and the country’s institutions but also within the broader culture itself.

A growing middle class, greater international cooperation, a robust media presence, and the existence of social media have all contributed to a growing dynamism inside Pakistan. This dynamism is on display in ordinary ways by ordinary people. Whether it’s a transgender woman openly campaigning in an election, dissidents using social media to shed light on the State’s activities, digital rights activists pushing for greater accountability, or an internet star pushing the boundaries of a conservative culture, Pakistanis are trying to change the direction of their social and political culture in big and small ways.

News Lens Pakistan is a news cooperative based in Pakistan and employs local Pakistani journalists to tell the stories of this vast and varied country. Its editors have launched a project called Shift. This project will include a series of reported stories from all over the country that, collectively, will show how Pakistan is changing and the consequences of those changes, both positive and negative. Their aim is to use the stories from Shift to show how a country like Pakistan, both modern and deeply traditional, is grappling with change and how Pakistanis are re-imagining their future.

News Lens Pakistan is a small news cooperative, with international partners like Verista and NearMedia LLC, working together to boost the professionalism of Pakistani journalists by offering training and development opportunities. News Lens reporters and editors have taken on scores of stories about government accountability, corruption, the deep state, militancy, workers’ rights, women’s issues, minority rights, business, arts, and more. They publish stories in English as well as local languages – Urdu, Pashto and Sindhi. News Lens journalists are ready, willing, and able to take on the important stories that will benefit Pakistanis and international audiences.

Serious news outlets are under tremendous financial pressures across the board. News Lens is no different in that sense.

The goal is to raise USD $5,000. In Pakistan, a little goes a long way and this small amount of money will allow News Lens to fund five reporters across the country to report on 12 stories. They will look at all parts of Pakistan and focus on stories across the social and class spectrum. The cost will include reporters’ story fees, travel expenses, editing, translation of stories into local languages.

As of April 18, 2017, we have raised $2,105.

News Lens Pakistan benefits not only journalists and their news outlets but the people of Pakistan. Its aim is to create, publish and distribute high-quality content throughout the country and to the rest of the world. In the process of creating that content, News Lens will improve the skills and raise the standards for Pakistani journalists, wherever they may be. Its members benefit from identification with this professional, nonpartisan, national news outlet, via its professional training opportunities as well as wide distribution of their best content.

To contribute to Pakistan Shift, use the button directly above.