Sehrish Mansoor is one of the finest new additions to the electronic news media of Pakistan. Moreover, she is one of the very few news anchors who hold experience of field reporting prior to taking up the role at news studio. Currently associated with ARY News, Sehrish is known for her serious work ethics and decent conduct of news. Team MediaSpringPK had a chance to speak to this talented News Ancor.
Here is what she had to say in response to our questions.
- Were you always attracted to journalism and media and when did you realize that a career as a media person was for you? Tell us how it all started.
Sehrish Mansoor: Actually no, like every other student of our generation, I wanted to be a doctor. However, I could not clear the much-dreaded entrance exam. Upon my father’s suggestion, I applied for mass communication. He had noticed my interest in debate and public speaking, that was one factor for him to suggest me Mass Comm. I got admission at the Karachi University, during my time at KU I gathered that this was the field for me and how suitable it was for me. At KU I became very active with the co-curricular activities related to public speaking and hosted various shows during University such as concerts and events of Karachi Art Council, these activities helped me build confidence.
In 2013, I started my career as an intern at the election cell of CNBC Pakistan. That internship lead to the job of a reporter of the political beat.
Besides politics I also entertainment and fashion.
- Tell us something about your educational background, and to what extent do you think your education and your academic degree has helped you in your career?
Sehrish Mansoor: I did my Masters in Mass Communication from Karachi University. Actually working in media as an anchor is a challenge. One need to have bit of knowledge of almost everything because we deal with various issues in a day every single day that is why we must absorb as much knowledge as we can do deliver it on screen when needed.
What I learned during my studies has definitely helped me. My education has helped me to understand what actually news is and how news should be dealt with?
having said that, I feel that our education system hasn’t made much of a progress. Our universities seriously lack the standard of education. That is why many of us struggle in practical life because that is different from what we were taught at the school, everything is so different especially in electronic media. Whereas, our universities are still stuck in the Newspaper and Radio era.
They need to update themselves.
The current state isn’t very helpful to the students. Students of mass communication must know about electronic media and the technology, how is reporting being done for the news channels, what are the key departments and roles in the news and electronic media organization.
- How was your experience of facing a camera for the first time?
Sehrish Mansoor: My time was for Aaj News, it was even before my stint at CNBC, I was doing a two-month internship there as part of my academic year. And I was covering Ramazan for the channel. It was not an issue for me, there was no nervousness, I did face the camera with confidence.
- Which city are you from, how supportive your family is about your career and work. And how much do you think family support is important?
Sehrish Mansoor: I am from Karachi.
My family has been very supportive, I think without their support I wouldn’t have been able to achieve what I have achieved thus far. My sisters, my parents my brother they all are my support.
- What part of your work do you find the most challenging and which one you enjoyed the most?
Sehrish Mansoor: I like challenging projects I do enjoy major news and updates. Big breaking news issues of major scale are something that I love to do.
I enjoy all the aspects of my work and I love to do it with all honesty. I am certain the day I stop enjoying my work I will leave this field.
I cannot be dishonest with what I do.
- Sometimes listening to bad news devastates our day, I am sure reading bad news must have an effect on a news anchor too how do you deal with that?
Sehrish Mansoor: We are human after all and it does have an effect on us. The plane crash of Junaid Jamshed sent me to a different zone for many days. I was feeling totally numb and empty. Life was meaningless told me, whatever was happening around was so oblivious.
That was the moment of realisation that how fragile life is. How we carry the heavy burden of materialistic desires and end up being depressed.
That changed me, I try to love simple now, be helpful to others. Since one day I will be under the earth I try to stay down to earth.
- How important do you think a healthy rivalry is among the fellow news anchors, do you think anyone as your rival (healthy/professional rival of course)?
Sehrish Mansoor: Competition is a reality it is everywhere and it is a good thing. Similarly, professional jealousy is a reality too. It is on us how we stay positive. If it is a healthy positive competition it is good for everyone.
I don’t think of anyone as my rival. I learn to form everyone from my seniors and even from newcomers.
I have a competition with myself and I want to improve myself with every passing day.
Here I’d like to mention that Shahzeb Khanzada is my favourite TV anchor, and Rabia Anum is my favourite news anchor.
- Do you like reading books, if yes then what type of books? Also how much do you think study and personal research is important for a news anchor?
Sehrish Mansoor: I love reading books. I like reading political and international affairs books. I am more into nonfiction books I can’t stand fiction. Fiction is good for entertainment nothing more than that, in my opinion. We need to step out of fiction to understand real issues.
Without research and reading an anchor is nothing. It is a sin for an anchor if he or she does not read. And reading should not be limited to the newspaper only. They must have a a holistic reading habit for in depth analysis.
Personal research shows where an anchor stands. I always try to sit in font of the camera after being fully prepared. I don’t like to be dependent on the bulletin it should rather be the other way around.
- We have seen a couple of examples from Pakistani news media that some news anchors shifted to modeling and acting do you have any such plans?
Sehrish Mansoor: To be honest, I have not received any such offer thus far neither I have given it a thought. I future let’s see if there is an offer I might consider it. But It is thought for another day.
- Define yourself in three words
Sehrish Mansoor: I am Myself!
- When was the first time that you realized you are famous now? Any interesting incident you like to share?
Sehrish Mansoor: I do not think that I am famous, so I’d say my first time of that realization is yet to come.
It is very rare for people to recognise me, it’s been five years in the media and in this time only three or four times it happened that someone has recognized me in public.
I believe makeup creates a lot of difference. I look totally different off the screen than my on-screen self.
Perhaps that is why I personally like light makeup and always try to look as simple as I can. Even wearing makeup is such a difficult job for me. Daily makeup daily hairdo is taxing task itself.
- Any tip of message you would like to give to the people who want to join news media as a journalist or news anchor?
Sehrish Mansoor: Read as more as you can. Research as much as possible. Make your own opinion and for that, you need to read and research a lot. Do not discuss people discuss ideas.
Be part of healthy activities. Keep the company of positive and mature people.
Peace of mind is very important, you cannot function without it.
- What is your favouirte off-time activity?
Sehrish Mansoor: I love playing video games like Horizon Zero Down and at times FIFA.
When I get time I go for swimming.
- How do you see the boom of social media in Pakistan? Does conventional media fear this rise?
Sehrish Mansoor: This boom can be defined as unleashed and most of us do not know how to constructively use it. We really need to understand that it does come with a responsibility, we end up fanning fake news and spread rumors without thinking about the consequences. This issue needs to be addressed.
Conventional media, I don’t think, fears this rise, in fact conventional media has been active at convincingly adopting it.
- What are future plans of ‘Sehrish Mansoor?
Sehrish Mansoor: Well, I haven’t given it a thought yet.
- Any message for your fans and readers of MediaSpring PK?
Sehrish Mansoor: Live and let others live. I have seen a lot of people commenting on others’ looks, health, physice, skin tone etc. Please stop doing this. People who are suffering already know what they are going through. If you can’t help someone, please do not add to it. Do not hurt anyone with your negative comments.