Razeshta Sethna is a journalist and editor at the Dawn Media Group and a journalist fellow at the Reuters Institute for Journalism at Oxford University for the Hilary and Trinity terms 2015.
Razeshta is an award-winning journalist, who has also worked extensively as a broadcaster and news producer for Geo Television and later Dawn News Television – the first English-language television channel in Pakistan. She began her career as a journalist more than fifteen years ago with the Dawn Media Group working as a reporter and junior editor. Razeshta has wide-ranging experience of international and national news coverage with an interest in conflict resolution, human rights, minority communities, gender issues, culture and arts. In April 2013, Razeshta attended the Chevening South Asia journalism programme at the University of Westminster in London, after which she did a short stint at The Guardian and with BBC’s Newsnight in June 2013.
Razeshta has interviewed world leaders including Dr Abdullah Abdullah, President Musharraf of Pakistan and Ambassador Holbrooke, as well as bringing attention to the work of rights activists and female politicians in Pakistan and Afghanistan who make a difference to the lives of others. Human rights issues and conflict resolution remain at the core of her journalism.
At Dawn News, Razeshta anchored and produced primetime current affairs programmes, news-based hourly analysis, including breaking news content which became her forte and won her appreciation. She has presented special programs focused on the Afghan and Iranian elections; and was the weekend anchor for ‘Newseye’, Dawn News Television’s current affairs flagship show, hosting an additional hour each weekend on culture and arts.
In the summer of 2010, Razeshta was appointed as the senior assistant editor at the Herald, the Dawn Media Group’s current affairs political monthly. Her interest and motivation in generating stories with in-depth analysis and her organizational skills helped revamp and repackage content for the magazine, conceptualizing various successful special editions, and ensuring that editorial integrity remained intact.
In 2012, she travelled to Afghanistan to report on the political challenges facing the Karzai government, the re-emergence of the Taliban and the future of hard-won women’s rights, and role of Afghan women in rebuilding their nation and the revival of arts and culture and. Her first-hand reports and analysis appeared in Dawn and the Herald.
Besides the Herald, she continues to write regularly for Dawn’s op-ed pages, contributes book reviews and investigative articles. Since December 2013, she has also worked extensively on conceptualizing the Rawalpindi-Islamabad Festival of the Arts (RIFA) sponsored by the Dawn Group, aiming to bring the best of political literature, visual arts and culture onto a single platform from South-Asia and around the world.
Other than working within the Dawn Group, Razeshta is also an Associate Editor for a biannual publication, Conflict and Peace Studies, a research journal published jointly by the Pakistan Institute of Peace Studies, an independent think-tank based in Islamabad and NOREF (the Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre) focused on creating a narrative for peacebuilding and countering terrorism.