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Former Dean BNU School of Media & Mass Communication (SMC) Professor Dr. Mehdi Hassan has passed away

Professor of Mass Communication Dr. Mehdi Hasan, Sitara-i-Imtiaz, passed away after a protracted illness on Wednesday. He was 85. He is survived by wife Rakhshanda Hasan, sons, grandchildren, brothers, nieces, nephews and thousands of students.

He was a Pakistani left-wing journalist, media historian, Former Dean of Journalism and Mass communication at the Beaconhouse National University and a Professor of Mass Communication at the Punjab University. His teaching career spanned over 50 years.

He served as chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.

He was one of Pakistan's prominent communication experts with a specialization in political analysis. One of the few media historians of Pakistan, Dr. Mehdi Hasan was a regular commentator and panelist for TV news channels and radio stations.

He authored many books on history, journalism, mass communication and political parties. His book The Political History of Pakistan is a widely used source of reference by journalists and producers. His long-held personal view was that distortion of facts by news media is distorting our history.

A long-time human rights activist and member of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan's Governing Council, Dr. Mehdi Hasan wrote many papers on the subject, and participated in multiple seminars.

His qualification included a Ph.D. in mass communication, from the Punjab University, "Role of Press in Formation in Public Opinion 1857-1947"and an M.A. in journalism, Punjab University. He was a Fulbright Scholar (1990) at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he conducted research on "Coverage of Third World Countries in the American Mass Media". He published research papers in the United States and Pakistan.

As a journalist he served as Pakistan Press International sub-editor and reporter between 1961-67. He remained elected office-bearer of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) five times during this period.

He also had been a news commentator and analyst for Pakistani television since 1964 for Radio Pakistan since 1962. National and international mass media outlets including Voice of America, BBC News, Deutsche Welle regularly sought his opinion on political developments in Pakistan. He contributed articles in all major newspapers of Pakistan. Photography was his hobby and passion.

His worldly possessions included many 35 mm cameras including a couple of Rolleiflex cameras. His passion for photography took him to frontline of the Lahore war zone in 1965, although he was not a professional photographer.

For his services for journalism in Pakistan, he was awarded Sitara-i-Imtiaz by the President of Pakistan in 2012.

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