Perceptions of Americans change after 3-week visit from Pakistani journalists

Pakistani journalists spend three weeks in America

SAN DIEGO - They thought Americans were fat, rude, and cold. Two visiting Pakistani journalists have changed their minds after spending three weeks working in the 10News newsroom.

“I thought you would be fat because I have read that Americans are fat,” Mumtaz Wattoo told 10News reporter Joe Little as he laughed. “No you’re not. You’re very small.”

Wattoo is a news producer for a 24-hour news network in Pakistan. Sundus Mustaqeem is a morning show host for TV and radio.

They were sent to 10News in San Diego by the International Center for Journalists with partial funding from the U.S. State Department. The project swaps journalists between the countries to help bridge the divide between Pakistan and the United States. It also gives Pakistani journalists a chance to learn from the American media. 

Pakistan’s news media has only been free for a little more than a decade. While Pakistan’s media is still evolving and going through some growing pains, Mumtaz and Sundus said the two cultures are very similar.

“I thought that Americans would be rude. Americans would be cold,” said Mumtaz, who added that San Diegans were the exact opposite.

“I love this place like anything. And SeaWorld!” said Sundus.

“Apart from the dress, and bikinis, and the beaches, everything else is the same,” said Mumtaz.

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