It is indeed our great privilege to introduce Pakistan's leading news and photo agency Online International News Network (OINN) to you. This is Pakistan's first bilingual news and photo wire service, dedicated to issues that are neglected by the mainstream media. We focus on national and global processes affecting the economic, social and political development of the people of Pakistan in particular and the region in general. We disseminate genuine as well as useful information to the nation and the pople across the globe.
OINN is different from contemporary Pakistani news agencies in many ways. There has been a very strong feeling in the outside world that there is no credible and independent source of information in Pakistan, chiefly because the electronic media, including radio and television networks are state-owned.
It was in this background that Mr. Mohsin Baig, the company's Chairman thought of setting up a news network worthy of credibility at home as well as in the foreign world. Mr Baig, who has been a journalist in his own right and now Chief Executive Online initiated this project in January 1999.
Chairman's primary concern was to build a highly professional team of reputable journalists, and marry it with state-of-the-art technology. Following these objectives, each journalist was selected on merits to ensure maintaining high journalistic values and each equipment was specially designed to cater to the modern day needs. This was done, keeping in view, that we were at the turn of the century and as a nation we have to enter the next millennium with dignity and honour.
As we were still in the process of training our staff at new technology and preparing a style-sheet when an unforeseen event of Oct 12, 1999 took place in the country with military take-over in Pakistan. The Online team on that day huddled together, and unanimously decided to break ground forthwith, ahead of its scheduled launching of Nov 1, 1999. We jumped in the arena half-prepared, yet we were largely welcomed by the print media within Pakistan.
After attaining the status of a credible and most subscribed news/photo service provider in Pakistan, we later launched our English/Arabic news and pictures service for daily, weekly and monthly publications across the globe.
Online is the first-ever Pakistani news agency operating English and Urdu news services simultaneously along with comprehensive national and international photo coverage. Our news reports often appear in the national and international print media while our photographs dominate news pages in most of the newspapers coming out from Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta besides some leading papers in the Middle East, Europe and the United States.
In English and Urdu languages, we offer information packages to suit diverse needs; both local and international publications, print and electronic media, dailies and weeklies, magazines and periodic journals, specialised and subject-specific publications. We are also equipped for prompt dissemination of breaking news to the print and electronic media around the world.
Today, we are proud to operate off a root network purpose-built for Online in the United States. Naturally, our transmission quality and timings match any other big news agency of the world.
The constituent elements of Online are an independent policy, a pioneering spirit, a highly motivated professional core team, state-of-the-art technology, strategically located Bureaux and Correspondents spread all over Pakistan, and above all a sense of mission.
An independent policy is the very substratum of the credibility for a news organisation. Naturally, everyone in the business claim they are independent. Few, however, appreciate what independence actually takes, and how difficult it is to uphold.
Online deems its financial independence to be the bedrock of its policy independence. A single-owner proposition from day one, the organization has kept its hands clean of any government grant, party contribution, or philanthropic endowment, and has a firm determination to always keep things this way.
Equally important at Online is intellectual independence, for vested interest groups have traditionally found it a breeze to infiltrate the ranks of media organisations with their henchmen. At Online, however, we have been able to foster a strong tradition of liberal thinking in a brief span of time so that any of our key members would feel disgraced if seen to be biased.
Freethinking professionals constitute the core team at Online, who have the intellectual duty to uphold liberal, rational thought at every level of the organisation, at the same time maintaining the richness of diversity of ideas characteristic to our society.
Online pioneered-and continues to be the only news agency to operate-photo service in Pakistan. Also, we are the only Pakistani media organisation that processes information in a substantially none-paper environment. The limitations remain correspondents, who must fax in, and to a lesser extent, processing of Urdu copy.
HIGHLY MOTIVATED PROFESSIONAL CORE TEAM
Online core team is made up of some of the most distinguished figures of the industry in their respective spheres of skill, plus some of the most brilliant prospects. A delicate blend of experience and freshness, the crew, pitted against several practised combinations, has come out a winner in many situations.
No media organisation in Pakistan is tapping computers and the Internet as extensively as Online. Our desk is fully computerised, as is reporting and of course, dissemination. Our photographers, too, are equipped with digital cameras.
Power-packed PCs, most modern optical scanning devices, and fastest network and communications' cards have together contributed significantly to making Online a formidable opponent for the competition. In fact, although we are located south of the Digital Divide, we virtually operate north of it.
BUREAUS AND CORRESPONDENTS
It is our pride to claim that Online with its Central office in New York and head office in Islamabad is a news network that has its bureaus at each provincial headquarters in Pakistan besides some major cities including Muzaffarabad, Hyderabad, Faisalabad, and Multan. Our bureaux are headed by senior, respectable and professional journalists. Their reporting teams comprise young, educated and honest reporters and photographers. More than 450 correspondents represent Online in every district and tehsil headquarter of the country.
This much for our domestic network; as well, Online has its correspondents in important world capitals and major cities including Washington, New York, Koeln (Germany), Moscow, Tokyo, Chicago, London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Cairo, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait covering events round-the-clock.