• Cyberian's Gold

    Journalistic Writing MCM310

    Department of Mass Communication
    Virtual University of Pakistan SEMESTER FALL 2019


    Writing a Summary
    Learning Objective:
    • To provide students with an opportunity to apply the appropriate techniques to summarize any text.
    A summary is a short overview of the main areas of a text. The purpose of a summary is to quickly give an idea that what material is all about. A good summary should give an objective outline of the whole piece of writing.
    While summarizing, three points should be kept in mind:
    (1) Summaries are shorter than original text.
    (2) They contain the main topics of the text.
    (3) They are in reported speech.
    Keeping in view the above mentioned three basic points, you are required to summarize the text of two paragraphs given below.
    Note: Summary should be 1/3 of the given paragraph.
    (7.5 +7.5)
    Paragraph 01:
    A democratic Pakistan can certainly better cater to the nutritional needs of its citizens. “No famine has ever taken place in the history of the world in a functioning democracy,” wrote Amartya Sen, an economist and a Nobel Laureate.
    Pakistan is blessed with cultivable land and a sizeable peasant population. The information explosion and ease of connectivity have instilled high economic aspirations in the rural populace. But if the implementation effort of successive governments has tapped only half the potential of the agriculture sector, is it perhaps the lack of a cohesive policy?
    Three decades ago the Agriculture Commission of Pakistan, in a report, blamed the underlying rural power structure, which wields disproportional representation in the federal and provincial assemblies, for the underperformance of the sector.
    Abusing the decisive power vested in the state to manage the economy these elements, it was found, colluded to evade taxes and divert subsidies and concessional bank credits to serve its narrow interests. The expert’s report, however, overlooked the growing role and influences of the reckless trading community; particularly those involved in import and marketing of seeds, pesticides and livestock.
    The National Food Security Policy, launched by the PML-N government last May, two days before its term ended, recognizes food security as a key challenge. It did not draw on the findings of the Agriculture Commission Report. Instead, it attributed the slow pace of agriculture development and lack of food security to the following: high population growth, rapid urbanization, low purchasing power, high price fluctuations, erratic food production and inefficient food distribution systems.
    The policy hinted at power dynamics when it stated that the benefits of whatever agriculture growth has been achieved have not been equitably shared in the rural economy. For some reason the said policy document clubbed wheat, a key crop in context of food security, with water intensive rice and sugar cane. It stated that the latter two have been given ‘more attention’ in the previous related policies. Ignoring the key factor — the political clout of the self-serving landed aristocracy — it listed slow technological innovation, problems with the quality, quantity and timeliness of input supply, inadequate extension services and technology transfer as factors responsible for the situation. As the share of urban-based manufacturing and the services sector expanded, to around 80.5pc of GDP collectively, the share of the agriculture sector in GDP narrowed by almost half; to 19.5pc in 2018 from close to 40pc in the mid-1960s. The hold of the landed elite might be loosening owing to growing economic strength in urban areas. But, so far, they have managed to guard and promote their interests using political structures and by blocking any move in the federal and provincial assemblies that may hurt them.

    Paragraph 02:
    And yet, even as choices have bloomed in terms of variety, quantity and quality of informational fare on offer, the media in Pakistan today is in a multifarious crisis of major proportions. Much less loved today than it was a decade ago at its peak of popularity, when it flexed its muscle to help political forces to hound out a military dictator from power, needled democratic governments on governance and championed a Naya Pakistan when it still sparkled in popular imagination and literally helped Imran Khan into power, it is now mired in a crisis of credibility. The media seems to have lost its missionary zeal to report a changing Pakistan. Just like the rise of multi-channel current affairs television sidelined print media about 20 years ago, the rise of the internet and the ubiquity of social media — popular among a largely adult but mostly young population in Pakistan — has overtaken TV as one of the key sources of news and information. This is upending traditional media markets and threatening jobs in mainstream media enterprises and shaking up existing media business models.
    Steadily growing manipulation of the media by a coarsening regulatory regime, driven by political compulsions of the deep state, is robbing the media of its integrity and, hence, audiences and influence. A tottering economy is the bitter icing on this crumbling cake. The velour and vivaciousness that characterized the media’s ability to influence independent news’ agendas is gone and its voice is stuttering. Despondency among media practitioners — and even owners — reigns as censorship increases by the day, fear stains the proverbial newsprint and huge question marks hover over the media landscape about whether Pakistan’s media ‘revolution’ — for whatever it was perceived to be — is over. From a ‘player’ it is becoming an ‘observer’ in the state’s structure. Sustainability of the media is severely threatened in the current bust phase of its business cycle and, with it, the ability of the plural and diverse Pakistan to conduct a decent dialogue with itself.
    The media is no longer making the money it did a few years ago, according to media owners and managers. The slide began even before the Nawaz Sharif government eventually gave way to the Imran Khan dispensation after the 2018 elections. At the end of 2018, a total of 88 TV channels (including news and entertainment channels) and 209 radio stations were licensed, according to the Annual Report 2018 of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra). In early 2019, PEMRA licensed another 48 channels, including 14 news channels, taking the overall number to 136. Afzal Butt, the president of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), says the number of journalists ballooned from about 2,000 in 2019 to over 20,000 and the overall number of people associated with the media industry to about 250,000. This expansion in the size of the media industry came off the back of improving economic fundamentals, an increase in per capita income and a rise in the consumer economy with growing surpluses in private incomes accompanied by an expanding advertising sector.

    Learning outcome:
    • Students will learn what things to remove from the original text, when creating a summary.
    • Note: Copied material will be graded “Zero”.

    Opening Date and Time January 07, 2020 at 12:01 A.M. (Mid-Night)
    Due Date and Time January 09, 2020 At January 13, 2020 at 11:59 P.M. (Mid-Night)

    Note: Only in the case of Assignment, 24 Hrs extra / grace period after the above mentioned due date is usually available to overcome uploading difficulties which may be faced by the students on last date. This extra time should only be used to meet the emergencies and above mentioned due dates should always be treated as final to avoid any inconvenience.
    Important Instructions:
    Please read the following instructions carefully before attempting the assignment solution.
    • Make sure that you upload the solution file before the due date. No assignment will be accepted through e-mail once the solution has been uploaded by the instructor.
    Formatting guidelines:
    • Use the font style “Times New Roman” and font size “12”.
    • It is advised to compose your document in MS-Word 2003.
    • Use black and blue font colors only.
    Solution guidelines:
    • Use APA style for referencing and citation. For guidance search “APA reference style” in Google and read various website containing information for better understanding or visit http://linguistics.byu.edu/faculty/henrichsenl/apa/APA01.html
    • Every student will work individually and has to write in the form of an analytical assignment.
    • Give the answer according to question, there will be negative marking for irrelevant material.
    • For acquiring the relevant knowledge don’t rely only on handouts but watch the video lectures and use other reference books also.
    Rules for Marking:
    Please note that your assignment will not be graded or graded as Zero (0) if:
    • It has been submitted after due date
    • The file you uploaded does not open or is corrupt

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