Sana Bucha is a Pakistani television journalist and anchor who as if 2011 worked for GEO News. She hosted and served as the executive director for the current affairs program Crisis Cell before switching over to the new program Laikin. Bucha covers topics such as Pakistani politics and foreign relations, South Asia and Middle East affairs and American involvement in the region.
Were only a handful of journalists who have expressed their anger against the assassination of the former Governor of Punjab Salman Taseer. Bucha started off as a production associate development, and became the largest producer of the first publication in English to the expectations of the global environment. Not produce them, Bucha often hosted the show. After the publication in English, produced and hosted Bucha Channel One News Show English than ever today. It is also hosted in 2011 in Akin to Geo TV.
She studied at the Convent of Jesus and Mary in Karachi and completed her A Levels at the Lyceum, Karachi. She specialized in Political Science at Kings College, London.
She faces off against some of the most influential people in Pakistan – if not the world – on live television and explores some of Pakistan’s most controversial issues every Friday through Sunday on her show, Lekin. Newsline sits with Sana Bucha for this exclusive interview to get the behind-the-scenes scoop on women in the electronic media and much more.
Q: Does the electronic media offer women a level playing field?
A: ‘Do we play fair?’ is the real question. Men will brighten up their boring suit with a colourful tie but we doll ourselves up. So I believe we do not offer men a level playing field.
Q: Talk shows have generally been regarded as a male domain. How did you manage to break through?
A: Women are everywhere. When I first joined Geo Television, I noticed there were lots of women working there – all kinds of women. There were women in hijab, women in jeans, gorgeous women and plain-looking women.
Back then, talk shows were mostly hosted by men, but I never really believed it was a ‘men only’ domain. I don’t think the media in general is male-dominated. But more importantly, I have never really thought ‘I’m not a man, therefore, I can’t do something.’ Actually, in our society, there are many fields more dominated by women than men. There is a perception, for example, that modelling is a women’s profession, not a man’s.
Q: When you are out in the field rather than the confines of a studio, how do people respond to you? Are they forthcoming?
A: I think the basic difference is that when you go out in the field, people want to talk to you. When you’re doing a show in an air-conditioned studio you need to call people in and beg them to talk to you.
I have done a lot of outdoor work and I think one of my best work was the outdoors shows I did, especially during the Swat operation. It was quite scary but it was exciting, and people wanted to tell you their story. When you are outdoors, there is a story everywhere. There is a story from the place where someone was killed and hung naked from a tree, to the place where there once used to be a little store that sold CDs and does not exist anymore. But when you’re in the studio, you have to create the story. You have to create the storm.
The Swat operation was my launch-pad. It was the first time I came on screen and it was actually by default. I never wanted to be an anchor – I hate criticism and I had no desire to pursue this career for too long a time. But things change.
Lekin is my baby, and that is certainly not by default. It is something I have created and it stands for who I am. It is the counter-narrative of the channel and society.
Q: Recently someone created a Facebook event accusing you of being a PML-N agent? Have you ever been accused of being partisan as an anchor?
A: Yes, all the time. These accusations come from the PTI and the party takes responsibility for them. Members of the PTI have often said things like “aapka tilt nazar aata hai” to my face.
I got Shahbaz Sharif on the show and I take full credit for that interview. He’s got 19 ministries under him and I am the one who exposed this on prime time. I asked Shahbaz Sharif if he thinks he is God and why he’s in charge of so many ministries and why he hasn’t established a health ministry. Subsequently, the fake medicine scandal broke. You will find all of these videos on YouTube. My critics should look at all my Lekin videos before they accuse me of partisanship.
Q: To what extent do Television Rating Points (TRS) determine the content and direction of Lekin?
A: At the end of the day I make the final decision. But my producer is very, very good and everybody on my team has an input. I have about seven people in my team and everyone from the non-linear editor to my senior producer has a say in what we do. This works because we are all on the same side and we all look at things the same way more or less. But sometimes we have differing opinions about specific issues and that also helps because then we have different perspectives and cover each side of the story, not just my side of the story. So while I decide the content, I don’t want to take credit for everything because there are some ideas that come entirely from my team. However, nothing is decided on the basis of ratings – although thankfully we have good ratings even with those stories I thought were not going to be popular.
I know what sells and what doesn’t but I don’t decide my content on the basis of what will sell.
Sana Bucha Pictures