Media framing of the ‘War on Terror’: The case of Urdu-language Elite Press during the dictatorial regime in Pakistan (2001-2008)
الإيضاح. 2019;37(1):13 -37
Journal Title: الإيضاح
ISSN: 2075-0307 (Print); 2664-3375 (Online)
Publisher: SZIC University of Peshawar
Society/Institution: Shaykh Zayed Islamic Centre Peshawar
LCC Subject Category: Philosophy. Psychology. Religion: Islam. Bahai Faith. Theosophy, etc.
Country of publisher: Pakistan
Language of fulltext: Arabic, English, Urdu
Full-text formats available: PDF
Naeem Gul (Department of Journalism & Mass Communication University of Peshawar)
Dr.Sajjad Ahmad Paracha (Associate Professor, Department of Media Studies, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Punjab)
Abstract | Full Text
This research is focused on press-government relationship on the issue of ‘War on Terrorism’ (WoT) during the dictatorial regime led by the then military ruler General Pervez Musharraf who remained in power till 2008 in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Global war against terrorism, generally known as ‘war on terror’ was actually started by the United States of America in the aftermath of 9/11 episode in 2001. Pakistan, on US demand, had not only become an important ally of the grand alliance formed under the umbrella of the United States but had also adopted the role of a frontline state just to fight the war against terrorism (WoT) alongside the war allies. Generally mass media have the potential to influence public opinion and help reshape the states’ policies on different issues. Likewise, mass media of Pakistan also took an active part in the war either by going alongside the then dictatorial government or against it. This research is based on examining the way the Urdu language elite press, the most popular mass media of Pakistan, covered the dictatorial regime of President General Pervez Musharraf with regard to its policy on the issue of ‘WoT’. Main purpose of this study is to know the nature of relationship between the Urdu-language elite press and the dictatorial government of Gen Musharraf in Pakistan with regard to their policy positions on ‘WoT’ from 2001 to 2008. Three newspapers including daily Jang, daily Nawa-I-Waqt, and daily Pakistan, considered to be representatives of the Urdu-language elite press of Pakistan, were selected for this study. The method used to measure the phenomenon is called framing where contents of the selected dailies were measured both quantitatively and qualitatively. Data were collected through systematic sampling method, while coding sheet was used as a tool for data collection. Unsigned main editorials of the selected newspapers were analyzed to examine the nature of relationship existed between the two entities i.e. the Urdu-language elite press, and the dictatorial government of Gen Pervez Musharraf, on the issue of ‘WoT’ in Pakistan. The results revealed that the selected elite newspapers, in general, remained critical to the dictatorial regime on the issue of ‘WoT’. The findings also revealed that daily Nawa-I-Waqt remained highly critical to the government as compared to its other contemporaries i.e. daily Jang, and daily Pakistan. It was also revealed that the Urdu-language elite press while framing the ‘War on Terror’ remained somewhat supportive and rarely neutral to the dictatorial regime on it policy on ‘WoT’.