The Impact of Media Discourse on Democratic Norms in Pakistan

By: Syed Asad Ali Shah  

Media appears to be a key player in molding public opinion on some specific issues for different reasons such as, financial gains, nationalism, or under political and social pressures. However, it is a very difficult task to question media’s position in terms of acting as an agent that pursues a specific agenda, or performing the role of a neutral messenger, or operating as mirror of society. Therefore, this study explores the role of media towards democracy in current Pakistani political sphere. By using critical discourse analysis, the research examines the political discourse produced in the three mainstream Pakistani English newspapers during the last two general elections, 2013 and 2018. The results show that selected newspapers presented politicians and political parties as the agents of corrupt mafia and the main hurdle to the development and prosperity of the country. Therefore, such negative portrayal of politicians and political parties has adverse impact on public trust on democracy and democratic institutions in Pakistan.

2019 Special Focus: The Future of Democracy in the Digital Age
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Syed Asad Ali Shah

Assistant Professor, Social Sciences, IQRA University, Pakistan

The author is currently serving as Assistant Professor, apart from teaching, he is actively engaged in various research project and supervising graduate students' researches.