Naziha Syed Ali: Pakistan’s fearless female reporter

The Documentary Podcast

By BBC World Service

Naziha Syed Ali: Pakistan’s fearless female reporter

Journalist Naziha Syed Ali has made a career out of investigating sometimes scandalous abuses of power in her native Pakistan. Publishing in the country’s main English-language daily newspaper, “Dawn”, she has reported – often undercover – on land confiscation, illegal organ harvesting and sectarian violence. Her work has prompted significant action against wrongdoers, most notably when she exposed malpractice in a major Karachi property development, resulting in a Supreme Court case and payments worth billions of dollars. Being female, she says, can help - if only because Pakistan’s patriarchal society is so sceptical about women’s ability to make an impact, which can lull male subjects into a false sense of security. Nevertheless, her job is arduous and frequently dangerous. In this interview for Assignment with Owen Bennett-Jones, she explains what drives her to work in one of the world’s toughest journalistic beats. Producer: Michael Gallagher Editor: Bridget Harney (Image: Naziha Syed Ali gives an interview at a journalism conference in 2017. Credit: Glenn Chong)
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