Sapan News

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Beena Sarwar

Photo credit: Aun Dohadwala

Founder Editor, Sapan News

Beena Sarwar is a multi-media journalist, editor, and documentary filmmaker from Pakistan who focuses on human rights, gender, media, peace, extremism, violence, and South Asia. She has been an editor with major print and television news outlets in Pakistan and has trained and mentored numerous journalists in the field over her 30-year-long career. She has extensive experience in journalism, activism, and academia, three disciplines that Sapan News brings together.

She was on the founding editorial board of Himal Southasian, the leading Southasian magazine published originally from Kathmandu and now from Colombo. She was also on the founding advisory board of Panos South Asia in Kathmandu, founder editor of The News on Sunday (initially Friday), Pakistan, and on the founding team of Pakistan’s first 24/7 television channel Geo TV. 

She was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University 2006, a Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School 2007, and has a Master’s in Television Documentary from Goldsmiths College, University of London. She occasionally teaches journalism at Emerson College, Boston, MA, and has taught journalism seminars at Princeton University and Brown University, besides co-teaching a journalism class at Harvard Summer School. The class she taught at Princeton University was listed as a student favourite.

She contributes news and commentary to media outlets around the world, including The Washington Post, New York Times, Guardian, Boston Globe, Al Jazeera, BBC, CNN, VOA, and NPR. She has published essays in several nonfiction anthologies and is Editor of Aman ki Asha (hope for peace), a platform launched jointly by the two largest media groups of Pakistan and India respectively. 

She is a founder member of the Pakistan India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD) and a founder member of the Women’s Action Forum Pakistan. She also served on the elected Council of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan for three consecutive terms. She is the founder-curator of Southasia Peace Action Network or Sapan. 

A 2023 Fellow at the Poynter Institute’s Media Transformation Challenge, she is based in Cambridge MA, but also calls Karachi and Lahore home.