Usmaan Lone is a television broadcast journalist who has spent the last ten years reporting and presenting news as well as working in international development as a third sector aid worker & reporter.
Most recently Usmaan worked for TRT World in Istanbul as a Senior Producer and then Presenter. Recently he was headhunted to work for Indus News as a News anchor based in Lahore, Pakistan where he is currently presenting the daily news.
Lahore Times got in touch with Usmaan Lone to find out more about the talented presenter.
After leaving a mark in the international media community, what motivated you to bring your expertise to Pakistan?
I was working as a presenter in TRT World in Istanbul and was headhunted by Indus News to join. When you have the opportunity to be part of a channel launch plus being able to work in Pakistan as a journalist for me felt like a great experience to be a part of.
How has the experience been so far in Pakistan?
So far the experience has been an eye-opening one, the team is dedicated and hardworking but most are coming from print journalism and shifting to broadcast journalism. I have always been in broadcast so I have found myself teaching other colleagues various methods and international standards I have picked up from my work experience.
Your first thoughts when you moved to Pakistan?
It’s hot! I moved in June, so it was summer so totally the wrong time to move! Temperatures were up to 45 degrees Celsius. But I’m kind of used to the food and climate from being here over the years. I covered the elections in 2012 and was part of the Street Child World Cup for team Pakistan. But visiting here for work and living here are two different things.
What has been your most challenging assignment till-date?
I had to cover the Indian elections, it was a three-hour show and I knew nothing about Indian politics or how it worked. The details that Indus news went into was phenomenal I was up studying like a kid for two days straight and I was the anchor of the show with about 6 hardcore Indian analysts, there was no room for error, and we pulled off a good show!
Give us a rundown of a day in the life of Usmaan.
So my day would start with a light breakfast then me hitting the gym, then a short nap and ready for work to do the night shift. My bulletin is at 9 pm daily, it’s the main hourly bulletin and me and my team work hard to perfect it on a daily basis. I finish at midnight and get home around 1 am, bed by 2-3 am after some reading and then all over again!
Tell us about your upbringing, education and how did you get into journalism?
My upbringing was tough. My parents divorced when I was just turning 16 and so it was a critical point in my life. My mum supported me through everything and paid for my university and my degree in media, without her I would not be in the place I am now.
I first got into journalism when I was working with the UN in Libya in 2011. I was sharing a hotel with the executive producer of the BBC and I had access to cross the border. She asked if I could do an interview so I did and then CNN contacted me and Channel 4 and Al Jazeera all asking for interviews, it just took off from there really, and the rest is history.
What would your advice be for young, aspiring anchors in Pakistan?
My advice would be to start from the bottom, learn to write and cut pictures and paint a picture of the story you are trying to tell. One thing that really irks me about Pakistani anchors is that some of them start straight from the top. I don’t work like that I believe if you want to master your craft then you have to work at every level until you reach the top, so that’s my advice for aspiring anchors.