Islamabad - Secretary Information, Broadcasting and Heritage Saba Mohsin yesterday called for further enhancing the role of Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) and expressed her satisfaction that serious efforts are underway to improve its professional standard.

The secretary information visited APP headquarters on Monday and was briefed comprehensively by its Managing Director Masood Malik on its working, financial problems and steps being initiated to capture more space in English and Urdu newspapers by increasing both the number and quality of news items. 

She also went around various sections of the national news agency, and said APP has talented journalists who can deliver in a professional manner.

Director Internal Publicity, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Nasir Jamal and APP directors were present during the briefing.

The hallmark of APP is credibility of its news items, which are picked by major newspapers across the country, she said in her remarks on the occasion. She said the APP is a national news agency hence the ministry of information would help it further improve news services by meeting professional requirements.

The ministry would also assist the APP in surmounting financial constraints.

Saba Mohsin said, being the state-run news wire, APP would be the strength of the government because  it is playing an important role in dissemination of credible information in English, Urdu and regional languages, besides providing footage to the electronic media.   

During the briefing, she instructed that APP news exchange agreements with different world news agencies should be streamlined for swapping news and strengthening mutual cooperation.

She emphasised on honing the skills of APP staffers in various sections for better utilization of their talent. 

Earlier briefing the Secretary Information, MD APP Masood Malik recapitulated different steps being taken by him to restore image of APP as the national news agency, by utilizing available resources in a judicious manner. He said that practical measures had already been taken to revitalise the Video News Service (VNS) of the organization to help it produce and upload quality footage on APP’s website. 

This was necessary to strengthen VNS and use it as a source of generating more financial resources for the news agency.  

Masood Malik said being a national institution APP is playing an important role in projecting the country’s soft image, besides promoting national cohesion and integration, both domestically and internationally. The news agency has also restored APP Forum, where ministers and ambassadors were being invited to dilate on the subjects of their interest and fields.

Masood Malik told the Information Secretary that output of the news agency had increased during the last two months as now APP was releasing special features on development projects and other socio- cultural issues.