It’s interesting when you read about senior Pakistani politicians talking about the role of media in “nation building”. There is a common acceptance that the media has a great influence in the shaping of those values that define what we believe and the kind of nation we become. At PAK7 we want to be part of that process, contributing to the good of Pakistan and seeing the church play its role in the growth of the nation. We believe God has called us to be salt and light in Pakistan - enhancing, preserving, and bringing truth and hope and to do this we must change attitudes to both Christians and the gospel.
With such a lofty vision and the relatively meagre resources of a start-up, we need to be strategic about where we invest our time and our money. For starters we need to get a balance between pursuing the vision and investing in our capability to do the task - without the one we cannot do the other. So, I tend to think about it a bit like this, and try to allocate my time between these three things:
It must be true; I hear my programming staff crying out for funds to make programs and equally I hear my fundraising team crying out for details of programs so they can raise funds! :-) So, one of the things we will continue to do this year is to invest in PAK7, so that we can mature and build our capacity for the task ahead.
When it comes to our plans for programming in Pakistan, we are continuing to clarify our approach to make it easier for people to understand. Because it is not the case that PAK7 is a TV channel today, nor simply a case of saying when we will launch a channel - that is a long term goal and there are things we need to do first to make that a reality. So bear with us while we lay a good foundation and start by making some great programs that will be shown in a variety of ways. Let me explain… I like to describe our strategy as follows:
And underlying those three areas of programming is the investment we need to make in Christian Pakistani filmmakers and media professionals - through initiatives like Video Star’s media summer school, masterclasses for those already involved in Christian media, and the purchase of new equipment for them to use. This is our fourth strategic area. We do this so that we can establish a strong and healthy pool of Christian media professionals that PAK7 and other ministries can work with as we play our role in nation building in Pakistan.
I should caveat this next section by saying that all plans are subject to change and are dependent on the necessary funds to do them! But, at this time, this looks like a reasonably ambitious plan for the year ahead. We’d like to do more, and perhaps with more funding coming in and more partners coming on board we will be able to, but for now, this seems good to me and the team!
In truth we have a way to go yet before we can launch a channel. I believe that we need to further establish our team and our capability in Pakistan and importantly, that we need to establish our reputation with viewers and the authorities.
When we launch a channel, we would like it to have a national reach and a license from the regulator in Pakistan (PEMRA) - to achieve this I am certain that we need to first be known as a trustworthy organisation that makes quality programming and which plays a helpful role in ‘nation building’. So, let’s get busy making excellent programs, treating people of all faiths with respect, investing in the good of society and culture, and playing our part as God’s people, witnesses to his goodness and transforming power.
Thanks for joining with us on this journey :-)