News Framing and Discourse Analysis of the Editorials of the ...

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Abstract

This study examines how editorials in Pakistan’s four major English-language newspapers—Dawn, The Express Tribune, The News and The Nation—represented the Aurat March in Pakistan, held on International Women’s Day (March 8), to reclaim public spaces for women. There was a public outcry against the movement, sparked by the key messages and slogans used to communicate with the masses. This research aims to study news frames used by Pakistan’s leading English-language newspapers for the portrayal of the Aurat March. The editorials published during the month of March from 2018 to 2022 were analyzed to identify the news frames. Subsequently, using Laclau and Mouffe’s discourse theory, this research also analyzes the narrative of this movement and counter-narratives from the opposition in a bid to better understand the discursive terrain. The findings show how these editorials and the opposition both talk about women’s rights but understand them differently. Our findings suggest that a lack of transparency can hinder a public movement’s ability to communicate its positive message.