Literature Review On A Social Critic Media Essay

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John Stuart Mill, a social critic and a known philosopher of the 1840s and 50s was of the view that an individual should be free to do as they please, without interference from society or the state, unless their actions might cause harm to others.

According to mills view point even the state (government ) does not have the right to curb the freedom of any individual, neither does the society one can say, know, do whatever they want, it is their right, he said no other can tell what is right or wrong for an individual. His philosophy was very popular and still holds a special place.

In his book "on liberty", he asserts that governments cannot exert their force on any individual or group in his words "the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community against his will is prevent harm to others": his own good either physical or moral is not a sufficient warrant. He cannot be rightfully to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because in the opinion of others to so would be wise, or even right.

Among Many things Mill said in his book "on liberty" the idea that became very popular and is relevant to the idea of freedom was:

If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person then he, if he had the power would be justified in silencing mankind.

It was John Stuart Mill who transformed liberty into a philosophy. He claimed that liberty/ freedom of speech, though, discussion had a central role in social policy and government. He demanded the redrawing of the line authority wielded by the state and independence of the individual.


It is a known fact that every dictator dislikes free media. Free media is a threat to a dictator, still the degree of media freedom variates from partially free, free or not free in dictatorial regimes .A dictator needs support from the bureucrats to run the state successfully which he does by giving incentives in the form of free media.

to find out what circumstances under which a dictator allows media partial freedom, a study was conducted by investigate media freedom in dictatorship.

the study suggested partially free media might be part of the incentive scheme for the state bureaucracy. it was found that lack of such incentives undermined the states capacity to handle major challanges such as war, large-scale natural disasters, or macroeconomic crises.

a detailed view of the study conducted in March 2009 "media freedom in dictatorships" the study was conducted to find media freedom in dictatorships, from 1993-2007.the scores were taken from freedom house and media freedom was classified as free, partially free and not free. the study explored the reason and facts behind the strategy of a dictator to allow freedom to the media even he fears and dislikes it.

it was suggested that there are benefits to a dictator to allow some degree of media freedom. this was answered by a situation called "Gorbachev's Dilemma".

"Gorbachev's Dilemma"

In 1985 Mikhail Gorbacher the new leader of the soviet-union faced an array of problems. a surge in the budget deficit was allowed by sharp drop in the oil prices showed that the command economy which was already underperforming relative to the west needed to be restructured. so in a meeting Gorbachev acknowledged : " the resturcturing is progressing with difficulty. we have no opposition party. how can then we control ourselves? only through criticism and self-criticism. most important through "glasnost".

he also said "democratism without glasnost does not exist. at the same time, democracy without limits is anarchy. that is why it will be difficult".

it was found that without allowing a certain amount of media freedom, reforms of the highly inefficient buereaucratic system seemed all impossible.

* glasnost : It is a Russian term meaning openness and meant partial media freedom.

In Pakistan a dictator has taken over as a savior so in the early years of his rule the people of Pakistan always had in their minds that this man has come into power to save the country from previous corrupt government. same was the scenario when General Pervez Musharraf came by displacing Nawaz Sharif. In his early period "honeymoon" period as said in the study of presidents. he enjoyed the begining of his power and all the concentration was toward the "war against terrorism" media was given freedom and popularity graph of the General was quite high. people of Pakistan were simple and waited for their expectations to be fulfilled but the scenario did not come out to be that was envisioned by the hopeful people of Pakistan.

when musharraf assumed power the country was going thorugh a very critical economic crisis, terrorism, political instability, to tackle these challenges Musharraf followed the Gobachev's Dilemma by allowing freedom to the media. he had no other option to regulate the state bureaucracy, but then to provide incentive to the bureaucrats who would then induce high efforts to work for him and his power. then he needed verifiable information on their performance which was done by free media. usually agencies are hired by the rulers to monitor but these agencies are vulnerable to collusion with bureaucrats, they monitor, preventing them is very costly and the only option to rule out the situation is "free media". on the other hand that freedom of media endangers the dictators position if any of his policy fails or his move is unconstitutional that will come to the knowledge of common people. this fact is critical for a revolution. revolutions involve a coordination problem. but if people get aware and then coordinate by the help of media, the end is a successful revolution. this is what happend in the case of Musharraf, the judiciary crisis coordinated, the lawyers, the educated, the journalists, the students proved the president's incompetence thus making him resign from his office.

All his upheavels were discussed on the broadcast media, then were being printed in the papers too. articles , editorials were freely showing the failures of Musharraf government and then a wave that was weak of no confidence in Musharraf started to gain strength and lastly swept him off.

Freedom granted to mass media by him proved to be fatal for his own self. He followed Glasnost an idea that meant openness in Russia and was made a term to be used for partial media freedom. Musharraf gave freedom to media but then he tried to bring it to glasnost (partially free) lastly when media threatened his power he wanted to silence it totally but despite all his efforts media could not be reigned and finally decision was made.

"Examples from the contemporary world "

Dictators fear from free media is justified, as the recent "color revolutions" in Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine, and Kyrgystan have shown that even partly free media are crucial in replacing non-democratic leaders. (Mcfaul 2005, Hill,2005). yet there is much variation in media freedom even among dictatorial regimes.

The resource rich countries, when bear dictatorships, the media is less likely to be free. the reason behind this was found that he has no interest in providing any incentives to its bureaucrats . this was proved by the study "freedom of media in dictatorships" that in oil-rich-economies" media is not that free, the dictator is not dependent on the low-tier officials or bureacurats to run his affairs . he does not allow free flow of information is it maybe threat to his political survival. so he curbs media freedom. he will not allow to lose the larger rent of the seat (power) so he supresses media freedom. the results of the study showed countries with low resources depend on other institutions such as bureaucrats and low-tier officials and partially free media (glasnost) when being ruled by a dictator. Poor economic policies can not be compensated due to economic instability.

First of all, the electronic media in the country - radio and television - are a monopoly of government. The journalists there are essentially civil servants and must function as such. The other station that broadcasts from Swaziland is Trans World Radio (TWR), a Christian entity that steers clear of political issues. Similarly, another radio outfit, the Christian Media Centre, is primarily concerned with the production of Christian programmes. Both have no impact on the political scene and their attention to the social scene is often limited to areas of morality.

The country has two newspapers - The Times of Swaziland and The Swazi Observer. The Times which is privately owned has been in existence for about a century. The Observer is, strictly speaking, not a government newspaper. However, it is owned by the Tibiyo Trust whose head is the King. It is therefore generally perceived as a pro-government newspaper. It tends to exercise a lot of self-restraint when dealing with national issues whereas the Times is usually more outspoken and less reluctant to be confrontational.

In many swipes at government and its functionaries, Vusie Ginindza exposed a lot of inadequacies in governance in the country. When all of this is added to continueds attack on government by the radical groups which enjoy a lot of media visibility, a picture emerges of an environment that is not conducive to (foreign) investment. Since the Swazi Observer and the government controlled broadcast media concern themselves essentially with mundane issues, steering clear of serious and controversial issues, the Times would be the logical choice for information gathering by potential investors.

In many swipes at government and its functionaries, Vusie Ginindza exposed a lot of inadequacies in governance in the country. When all of this is added to continueds attack on government by the radical groups which enjoy a lot of media visibility, a picture emerges of an environment that is not conducive to (foreign) investment. Since the Swazi Observer and the government controlled broadcast media concern themselves essentially with mundane issues, steering clear of serious and controversial issues, the Times would be the logical choice for information gathering by potential investors. 

The writer of article suggests Also, the very slow pace of democratization is helping to push to the fore the disruptive activities of organized resistance groups, which receive more than adequate publicity in the media and suggest an unhealthy environment in which to do business. The government cannot continue to bury its head in the sand and proclaim that all is well. Nobody seems to be listening to that. It has to be more proactive in dealing with the situation. First, there has to be a sense of direction for communication interaction in the country. Government and all stake-holders must come together to discuss and agree on a framework that will allow everyone work towards the same goal through popularly prescribed channels and modes.

A national communication policy would provide such a framework. It creates an environment in which the different parts of the communication process in the country can function in concert. Such a policy identifies the communication goals of a nation and prescribes ways of attaining them. It comes about as a national consensus. It then ascribes roles to different bodies in the society who can contribute to the attainment of the set goals. More importantly, it acts as a guideline for communication relationship between government and the press to avoid the perpetual movement on a collusion course by both parties. It eliminates, to an appreciable degree, the mutual suspicion between government and the press and dampens the latter's zeal to be defiant.

Swaziland does not have a national communication policy. It is now imperative to have one. There had been moves in this direction. In 1992 a consultative meeting was held in the country to try and formulate a communication policy for the country. Nothing has come of it yet. Government must now look into it seriously as a matter of polic

Politics should not be allowed to feature too prominently in the consideration of press freedom, because it has a way of affecting other aspects of national life. The potential of this in the area of economic growth has been identified. This calls for a very serious reconsideration of policy issues by government.y



In the early period Musharraf government followed a more liberal policy towards the press with fewer restrictions and much less manipulation. However when the honey moon period of the President was over situation started to change .Authorities used violent policy to silence critical voices in the media. According to Adnan Rehmat and Matiullah (2005) "no moment has been dull in the past years for the media in Pakistan , the gains and losses being dramatic in equal measures." Adnan and Matiullah (2005) argue that freedom of press in Pakistan shrunken in both print and electronic media during Pervez Musharraf regime by intimidating and harassing journalists. In many cases press was barred from covering opposition, public events, corruption and abuses of power by the public servants and tribal areas where military was engaged in operations against terrorists. There were censorships, press advice, issuance of government's advertisement to favorite media organizations, forcing off opposition leader's interview on a private television channel, dozens of reporters were beaten and arrested during the tussle between the President's election and the Supreme Court (Adnan and Matiullah, 2005).



However, the new government of the Pakistan People party has promised for maximum press freedom and curtailing the strong hold of PEMRA on the private TV channels and cable network.

The events studied in this research were ;

Red mosque siege

Judicial crisis

Declaration of emergency

Introduction to the events of the study:

The Red mosque siege

Lal Mosque: Mighty Conflict

A mighty conflict between the Musharraf government and administration of Jamia hafsa and the RED mosque's khateeb took place.

It was the beginning of a huge devastation but the students of Jamia Hafsa did not know what would by the consequences of their doings. The male and female students took to the streets to persuade video shops not to sell vulgar movies. They have a campaign to clear the mess from the society, so the next step that was taken by these students was to seize the owner of a brothel in the Aabpara area. There were many complaints about the brothel but nothing was done due to the involvement of high-ups with the brothel owner and the prostitutes. Even the name of Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed was taken on the media shows.

The students then decided to take action themselves; they held the woman hostage in their seminary. The police tried to release that woman but when they failed they arrested two teachers from the seminary. The students came out on streets in no time and took two policemen along with their official vehicles as hostage. (Encyclopedia retrieved on Nov 4, 10)

The Ghazi brothers were not happy with the suppressive regime of Musharraf, upon asking Rasheed ghazi said that it was not the right time for Jihad but if Muslim pious lady teachers would be arrested for the stake of prostitutes, a call for jihad was imminent. Abdul Rasheed Ghazi and Abdul Aziz then commanded wide spread support and were vocal in their backing of the Taliban

The authorities wanted to have them arrested on many occasions but feared the powerful backlash.

Lal Mosque Siege and Musharraf

The Musharraf government was compelled to act against the Lal Mosque militants after they announce a "parallel judicial system" the Lal Mosque administration was pro Taliban and aimed to enforce Islamic laws in the capital. They also gave threats to start suicide attacks if the government took any action against the enforcement of Shariat.

The standoff between the government and Lal mosque clerics finally broke on jult 8th, 2007 by reaching to an agreement with a delegation led by Shujaat Hussain. Later the hostages were still not released as promised in the agreement. But then the operation silence was planned and the mosque was bombarded leaving an air of sorrow and grief, gifting the Musharraf regime more criticism.

State of Emergency in Pakistan 2007

Pervez Musharraf declared state of emergency on November 3, 2007 and it was till December 15, 2007.

At the time of the emergency declared in Pakistan General Pervez Musharraf controversially held both positions of President and Chief of Army staff. He Resigned on November 28th, which was 25 days later, when the emergency constitution of Pakistan was suspended imposition of emergency was related to the re-election of president Musharraf in election October 6, 2007 as he held both positions of president and chief of Army Staff at the same time.

It was the election commission that approved General Musharraf as a candidate for re-election. The approval was challenged by Justice Wajihuddin Ahmed, because Musharraf held the office of Chief of Army Staff as well, and constitutionally this was not permissible to be in two major offices together. Then on October 6, presidential elections were held and Musharraf won with 98% votes in the Senate, parliament and the four provincial assemblies.

Prior to the declaration of emergency attorney General Malik Qayyum, representing Musharraf, had assured the court that he government had no plans to impose martial law.

The General exercised his power to impose the state of emergency as president and issued the provisional constitutional order replacing the constitution of the country. The article 232, allows the president of Pakistan to declare state of emergency if a situation comes to justify its imposition. But in our president case the emergency was declared for his own self, to save his position.

The state run station PTV aired a brief announcement saying that "the chief or Army staff ( General Pervez Musharraf )has proclaimed state of emergency and issued a provisional constitutional order" At 6:10 am in the local time without giving any details.

Emergency declaration was rejected promptly by chief justice ifthikar Muhammad Chaudhry his seven member bench issued an interim order against this action. He also directed the Pakistan army not to follow any illegal orders. As a result to this, the 11th brigade of the Pakistan army entered the supreme court building and removed the CJ Ifthikar Choudhry and Several Other judges from the supreme court and arrested them.

Moreover the constitution was suspended the federal cabinet ceased to exist and the justices were ordered to take an oath to abide by it. Those who disagreed had to be dismissed.

Judicial crisis:

In the history of Pakistan the judicial crisis was one of its kind , an extraordinary event that started on 9th of March 2007 and lasted for 143 days . General Pervez musharraf sent a reference against the Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to the Supreme judicial council that whether the Chief justice was guilty of misconduct and should be removed from the office at the same time Musharraf made him non functional , a new acting chief justice was appointed, and supreme judicial council was constituted .This action evoked a strong reaction from the legal fraternity. On the call of Supreme court Bar Association , Pakistan Bar Council and other organization united and protested against the President's decision .Demonstrations were launched and courts were boycotted and the opposition parties taking advantage of the situation joined with the legal fraternity full hand in hand.

Demands of the movement were

Reinstatement of the Chief Justice

Independence of the jury

Rule of law , Supremacy of the constitution and a truly representative civilian government.

Why these issues were selected:

These events /issues were studied as they were most important in changing the political scene of Pakistan after a long military rule. These issues were selected because they were concrete and were in the spot light for quite a long time the also included main component an event should have conflict.

According to zucker (1978) theory the more obtrusive an issue is the more likely people experience it directly .Following are some HYPOTHESES BY OTHER researchers in this regard :

1.Concrete issues should be more open to media effects than abstract issues.(yagade and Dozier 1990).

2.Public has limited attention span therefore issues that are silent for a long period will eventually offer less opportunity for media influence.(zucker 1990).

3.Issues that involve dramatic events or conflict should have an increased potential for media effects on public opinion.(Mackuen and coombs 1991,Wanta and Hua 1993).

Theoretical framework:


structural functionalism theory is a perspective which is used to analyze societies and their component features, that focuses on their mutual integration and interconnection. Structural functionalism approach addresses the social functions of the structures constituting the society making it a whole. when analysing the theory social structures are placed at the center and social functions are deduced from the structures.

Structural functionalism implies that social institutions, form social structures collectively then they function to maintain harmony in the society.

HISTORY: Wallace and Wolf trace the development of structural functionalism to Comte, Herbert Spencer and Durkheim.This approach was developed from 1930's to 1960's in the united states. Parsons studied Weber and Durkheim translated their work into english and became a major interpreter if these writers in America. The structural fuctionalism theory is also very much associated Rad cliff -Brown and Evans Pritchard.

Structural functionalism makes seven main assumptions. These assumptions focus on several levels of analysis [society, community , individual, social unit (e.g family, organizations)].

1) Systems have a property of order and interdependence, societies and social units are held together by cooperation and orderliness.

2) Systems tend toward self-maintaining order, or equilibrium.

societies and social units work best when they function smoothly as an organism, with all parts working toward the "natural" or smooth working of the system.

3) The system maybe static or involved in an ordered process of change.

4) The nature of one part of the system has an impact on the form that the other parts can take.

5) Systems maintain boundaries within their environments.

Natural (external environments are separate but adapt to each other. The same dynamic occurs within societies and/or social units if one or more parts significantly conflicts with each other, others must adapt.

6) Allocation and integration are two fundamental processes necessary for giving a state of equilibrium within a system.

Division of labour and positions help to maintain the balance; each part inter relates to create efficiency and harmony ; the most capable individuals must be motivated to fill the most important roles/ positions.

7) Systems tend toward self maintainance involving control to boundaries and relationships of parts to the whole, control of the enviornment, and control of tendencies to change the system from within.

Two main components of the structural functional approach are

1) social structures 2) social functions

STRUCTURE: A system of status roles, or positons, which are usually arranged in a hierarchial fashion. Just as social structures (e.g Government, Family, Mass media etc) contribute to the smooth functioning of the society, individuals must fill a set of positions (status- roles) to make social institutions and society fuction smoothly.

FUNCTIONS: A complex of activites directed towards meeting a need or needs of the system. society develops institutions and patterns in order to maintain itself and keep it running efficiently. Then is an important term structural strain defined as :

STRUCTURAL - STRAIN: Disturbances caused by rapid social change, which often cause social problems. structural - strains inspire adaptation in social systems (reforms) in order to keep society running (e.g Government might pass laws to outlaw discrimination in hiring, but still racism remains in the society in other forms) but system remains relatively stable. Disorder occurs because of the conflicts between the parts that make up the society and therefore balance and peace must be stored.

DYSFUNCTION: Often caused by structural strain, not always. Structural functionalists point out sometimes social systems dont operate ideally and would identify the dysfunction of a given system (social institution, organization etc) as a way of improving its smooth functioning.



Talcott Parsons (1920-1979) was the most important figure in the structural functionalist school of thought.


For parsons there are many systems or action systems. He said that system is something that has boundaries and it has outside and inside to the enviornment comprising them. examples of systems are social, cultural, personality systems (wallace and wolf p28).

Communication system is also a system of which mass media are a part. it is one of the interdependent part of the society. every society has interdependent parts to the system that maintain order or equilibrium to make the system function properly as a whole.

These parts are the structures or institutions within society ( economy, legal systems, religious institutions, media) or smaller subsystems (family, individual) that form part of a society. He called these systems, action systems because they involve social actions, each system has needs or conditions that are necessary for the survival and continued operation of the system. Then there are goals of these systems that maybe created as a result of needs of the members of the society.

Parsons defined social system as

" A social system consists in plurality of individual actors inetracting with eachother in a situation which has atleast a physical or enviornmental aspect, actors who are motivated in terms of a tendency to the optimization of gratification and whose relation to their situations, including eachother, is defined and mediated in terms of a system of culturally structured and shared symbols. ( The social system pp-56).

Within the social system Parsons considered the needs of the system as important and individuals carried out the functions according to their statuses to fit in the society.


At its most basic level, the model of functionalism posits that a political system is made up of institutions (structures), such as interest groups, political parties, the executives, legislatives and judicial branches of government and a bureacratic machinery. To compare two political systems this information is not sufficient, the thing that distnguishes two systems are the ways in which these institutions function.

Gabriel Almond developed a full understanding about the institutions acting within the political procss. he described it as interest groups serve to articulate political issues, parties then aggregate and express them in a coherent and meaningful way, government inturn enacts public policies to address them ; and then bureaucracies finally regulate and adjudicate them

This model of Almond neatly accounts for what happens within a political system, systems are never entirely self contained. they exist in dynamic relationship to the other political systems and they have to adapt to changing conditions in the larger socio- political context. Thus all political systems require sufficient feedback mechanism.

Additions in SF in the recent years:

About the modifying and expanding the theory of structural functionalism Gabriel Almond and his collegue Bingham Powell added important set of system functions to their model in recent years. this change acknowledges the crucial role played by political culture in determining the unique characteristics of a political system. These system functions include political socialization, recruitment and communication. They say it is political socialization, by this Almond and Powell mean the process by which a culture passes down civic values, beliefs and habits of mind to succeeding generations.

Recruitment refers to the ways by which citizens become active participants in the political system. and communication represents the way a political ystem desseminates information essential to its proper functioning. For example, the news media plays a vital role not only in distributing public information to its citizens upon which they then make important political decisions but also in shaping political attitudes and values concerning political process as Shanto Iyengar and other scholars have shown.

The structural functionalism approach is quite conservative in nature as it recognizes that a political system's firsr objective is to ensure its own survival. For this reason it is not specially responsive to innovations and movements aimed at political change. The SF theory has a democratic bias as it views citizen input and involvement in the political stabiltiy and responsiveness.

Gabriel Almond's structural functional approach is a theory of systems and is based on the view that any political system is made up of seven key functions which are usually made up of and carried out by key actors which are:

The seven functions political system need to perform



getting people to fulfill all the political roles associated with political system from voters to leaders, forming positive attitudes, values and beliefs and opinions which maintain or sustain political systems.





transforming politically relevant information to citizens.


parties/ interest groups/ media



expressing/making demands upon the political system


parties/ pressure groups



selecting demands and combining them into a manageable alternatives.





taking demands and converting them into the authoritative decisions of the political system.





administering or putting the decision into effects ; policy implementation





making authoritative decisions about whether or not a rule has been transferred in given cases.




In 1949 Robert Merton introduced a form of functionalism in his book "social theory and social structure" and that form is widely adapted by media researchers. He analysed the functions of media in detail. his study explored how analysis of social artifacts (such as media use) could lead to theories explaining their functions.

Merton had derived this perspective from earlier forms of structural Functionalist theories that were used in anthropology and sociology. functional analysis argues that society can be best viewed as a "system in balance" consisting of complex sets of inter related activities, each supporting the other.All forms of the social activities play their part in maintaining the system as a whole.

Functional analysis of Merton appealed many media scholars because early theories of the media characterized media and media consumptions as good or bad. Then came this functionalist approach that rejected the Good-bad dichotomy and argued that only objective empirical research can identify the functions and dysfunctions of the media, which can then lead to sytematic appraisal of media's overall effect on society. Functionalists believed that scientists had no right or even the need to make judgements about media when they conducted reasearch.

So the rule of functionalists was to view the activities that contribute to maintaining the society as functional not good. Disruptive activities are by definition dysfunctional not evil. The activities maybe found to be functional one respect might be dysfunctional in other respects.


functionlists distinguished between functions of media, naming them

1) manifest function ( those consequences that are intended and easily observed)

2) Latent functions ( those consequences that are unintended and less easily observed).


Sociologist Charles Wright directly applied functionalism to mass communication in 1959 in his book Mass Communication: A sociological perspective.

He wrote that media theorists, noted three activities of communication

1) surveillance of the enviornment.

2) correlation of the parts of the society.

3) transmission of the social heritage from one generation to the next.

Then Wright added the fourth element

4) entertainment

"they were called four classic functions of media"

Wrights's particular contribution was to draw distinction between intended purpose of media activity and its consequences (its functions). sometimes functions become synonymous with goals of media industry themselves. e.g serveillance of the enviornment refers to the collection and distribution of information by the media.

People know the fate of government appropriations bill because they saw it on the news.

Correlation of parts of society refers to the interpretative or analytical activities of the media. People know from newspapers that the bills failure to pass means no raises for teachers this year.

Transmission of the social heritage refers to the ability of media to communicate values, norms , styles across time and between groups e.g attitudes towards racial communities in 1950's.

Ebtertainment refers to the ability of the media to amuse or entertain.

These are obvious aims of the media but they may not be functions served for the people who consume those media.


Surveillance activity and its effects on democracy offer an example of how functionalism should be applied to the studies of media. we use the SF to study the society and media and its effects on democracy. In the intention to survey the enviornment, the mass media devote significant resources to the coverage and reporting of political campaigns but if citizens ignore this coverage the intended function fails to occur.


The enviornment has not been surveyed despite the efforts of the media but if the reports are consumed by the public then the intended function of surveillane is accomplished.

For surveillance to occue, the transmission of news about important events must be accomplished by audience activity that results in learning about and understanding those events. simply put aims become functions only when the interrelated parts of the system operate to produce these functions..

This (SF) theory supports our study as it opens the interrelationship between media function, government and society. why do citizens become less or more involved in the political process because they are turned off not only by the nature of coverage but by its contents.


Framing is a theory that suggests that media focuses attention on certain events and then places them within a field of meaning.The way news is brought ,the frame in which news is presented,the issues and events that are covered is agenda setting and is done by journalists.

A frame refers to the way media and media gatekeepers organize and present the events in way to make perceptions according to their will.thus not only telling what to think about but also how to think about what they are provided.

Thus FRAMING is a quality of communication that leads others to accept one meaning over the other.

HISTORY of framing;

Framing theory found its ground back in 1922 when Walter Lippman wrote the book "Public Opinion". He was the first one to discuss and point out the influence of media on minds of the public. Lippman presented in his theory that mass media create our pictures of the world but he also stated that these pictures are incomplete.Other pioneers of the framing research were Robert Entman,Tuchman and Goffman.

Types of Frames

The two types of frames are episodic and thematic.Episodic frames elaborate public issues in terms solid events like a bomb attack ,an accident or a demonstration.On the other hand thematic framing is totally opposite it is in the form of detailed report to acieve a specific goal it is done by putting public issues in some theoretical context.It can be about consequences after a certain policy or action of the government it maybe about reaction of people after an international comment on any local issue .Apparently episodic framing is more appealing as it is clear cut message or live coverarage whereas thematic framing requires interpratation and analysis by the audience.Mostly political issues are episodically framed for example the judicial crises all the way through was covered live all the lawyer rallies were on media and episodic frame was given to the news creating anti Musharraf image.In case of Lal mosque live coverage was banned media people were not allowed in the near vicinity of the mosque to keep the true scene hidden from the public but the thematic frames were given through talk shows and by discussion of critics to the people so they could analyse the action of Musharraf government themselves .Thus creating more anti Musharraf environment across the masses.

Similarly main papers of the print media Dawn , The News and Jung also printed material like editorials and articles news items that framed Musharraf and his government as wrong in bombarding the Lal mosque,suspending The Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry and last but not the least Decleration of Emergency.

Recent research on issues of the study

According to a recent research on Agenda setting by Dr. Saqib Riaz the issues like judicial crisis , Lal mosque siege, terrorism etc were studied in detail .He found through his research that after the events of judiciary and Lal mosque siege took place famous english newspaper Dawn and the popular urdu newspaper Jung printed stories which were both pro and anti government in nature.

IN the research " media freedom in Musharraf regime" the facts and figures helped us gauging the extent of media freedom in the particular time when these evnts took place and stories and news that came afterwards.Thus indicating how free media was to criticise Musharraf government after these harsh decisions it made.

SLANT here means the tilt of the news story in favor of the government, against it or neutral

Dawn Jung























Lal mosq
















Slant for the Issue of Judiciary Crisis

Unlike the other issues, the issue of the judiciary crisis received tremendous

slant against the government. It might be a result of a huge movement of the lawyers

of the country for the restoration of the judiciary.

The daily Dawn published 24 percent news paragraphs on this issue in favor of

the government while it published 57 percent news paragraphs about the issue that

were unfavorable for the government. The percentage of the neutral paragraphs was

19. On the other hand the daily Jang allotted 18 percent coverage on the issue of the

judiciary crisis in favor of the government while its 69 percent coverage on the abovementioned

issue was unfavorable for the government. The paper published 14 percent

neutral paragraphs about the issue.

Slant for the Issue of Lal Masjid (Red Mosque)

The slant given by the newspapers of the study on the issue of the Lal Masjid

is clear from the figure 4.10. It was a very much sensitive issue in which thousands of

innocent seminary boys and girls were killed brutally by the armed forces. The Dawn

kept a balance during the coverage of the issue by giving almost equal treatment to

both sides while the Jang being a popular newspaper of the country donated more

coverage against the government because of its brutalities. The Dawn gave 44 percent

coverage on the issue of the Lal Masjid in favor of the government and 45 percent

coverage against the government while its 11 percent coverage about the issue was


Framing of these issuesFraming of the Issues

Framing was also measured about the issues of the study in terms of friend and

foe in case of the issues of terrorism and Indo-Pak relations while the titles for the

frames of the other issues were called as pro-government and anti-government. The

table 4.2 elaborates the picture of framing for the issues of the study.

As apparent from the table 4.2, the Dawn published 259 news items on its

front and back pages about the issue of terrorism in which the US was portrayed as a

friend of our country while 220 news stories depicted the US as foe or enemy. The

ratio was opposite in the daily Jang which published 136 news items showing the US

as friend while the newspaper published 180 news stories portraying the US as foe.

Here, again a difference can be seen between the policies of the two newspapers. Here


this is important to mention that the readership of the two newspapers is totally

different. The Dawn is usually read by the elite class, foreigners, diplomats, etc. while

the Jang is the newspaper of the general masses. The reason of the difference of the

policies of the newspapers might be a result of their readership.


















Lal mosque













The number of stories published against the government indicates that press was despite all controls free enough to voice against the Musharraf government.

Frequency of the stories published

During the study period of one year the daily Jang published 407 news stories

on its front and back pages about the issue of judiciary crisis and hence this issue got

the largest coverage among the issues of the study. The issue of terrorism got the

second position having a number of 316 news stories which were published in the

daily Jang. The newspaper published one hundred news stories about the issue of Lal

Masjid (Red mosque) and hence the issue got the third position in its coverage during

the year of the study. The issue of food crisis remained on fourth position having a

score of 65 news items while the fifth position went to the issue of Indo-Pak relations

having a score of 52 news stories. The issue of the energy crisis got the minimum

coverage in this newspaper during the year and only 45 news items were published on

the crisis. Hence the total number of the news stories about the issues of the study

published on the front and back pages of the daily Jang (on alternate days) was 985.

On the other hand, the daily Dawn donated the number one coverage to the

issue of terrorism by publishing 479 news stories on its front and back pages during

the period of one year (on alternate days). Here, the issue of judiciary crisis got the

second position having a score of 129 news stories. The issue of Indo-Pak relations

got the third maximum coverage having a score of 104 news items. Thirty nine news

stories were published about the issue of food crisis and the issue remained on the

fourth position just like the coverage of daily Jang. The issue of energy crisis

remained on fifth position having a score of 36 news stories while the issue of Lal


Masjid got the minimum coverage in this newspaper because only 31 news stories

were published about this issue on the front and back pages of the daily Dawn. Hence

the Dawn published a total number of 819 news stories on the issues of this study.

SOURCE:Jeremy Page in Lahore and Zahid Hussain in Islamabad (The Times - 19 February 2008)

Paul lines takes a look at the media freedom in Pakistan stating the reason of difficulties that media had to face in the past were due to history of military regimes of Pakistan since its independence. He says media freedom is taken for granted in the western democracies and such freedom is not available in areas governed by opressive regimes.In his article paul has taken tenure of President Musharraf as an example of a dictatorial regime.

He says that events that occurred during the latter part of Musharraf regime made him curb media freedom in Pakistan to prolong his military rule.Ammendments were introduced to existng legislation demolishing media freedom in the country.Severe penalties were implied for non-compliance.The ammendments were named "black media Laws"byEvan Fell(2007)in PEMRA and PNNABRO.

Bans were imposed on private news ,including banning of many current affair programs ,political discussion programmes.Foreign media was equally restricted overseas reporters were forbidden from reporting on any matter of the military or even on their political actions .Protests of the public were also not allowed to be reported to sustain the political power.

Whoever disobeyed the restrictions on the media had bear consequences.According to the report of International Federation ofJournalists(2008) during the introduction of these laws and middle of march 2008 media representatives have faced many attacks ,have been forced to relinquish their equipment and data and forced to stop reporting too.Three journalists died during this period,many were beaten ,were kidnapped and a press conference in khuzdar was bomb attacked in which many journalists were injured.