Asian News reports from disaster zone

The free Rochdale-based Asian News sent its own reporter to the earthquake stricken area of Pakistan on an eight-day assignment.

Chief
reporter Shelina Begum was one of the very few local newspaper
reporters to file first-hand copy from the disaster area, where many of
the paper’s readership would have friends and relatives.

Asian
News dedicated a four page special to her reports, which were also
carried in the Manchester Evening News, which printed six pages of
pictures and reports from Begum. She also made a video camera report,
with interviews, for the Channel M local TV network, which serves the
Greater Manchester area.

Begum interviewed child amputees, those
who had lost their families and hitched a ride with a group of Kashmiri
women who were taking £1 million worth of supplies to the victims.

Editor Steve Hammond said: “The biggest single ethnic group who read Asian News are people of Pakistani origin.

Two
thirds of them were born, or have relatives, in the disaster area. I
felt it essential that we should serve these readers by reporting, on
the ground, on what clearly was the biggest tragedy they have ever
experienced as an ethnic minority.

“Many, many, groups of
ordinary people managed to collect aid and deliver it in person, so I
felt the very least we could do was to send our own reporter out there
to let the victims speak for themselves and report on the aid effort.”

Asian News distributes 20,000 copies in and around Greater Manchester each month.

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