The Role of Media in Creating Values of Nationalism in Pakistan

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Author: Munawar Sabir
Date: Dec. 31, 2011
Publisher: Knowledge Bylanes
Document Type: Report
Length: 6,968 words
Lexile Measure: 1520L

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Byline: Munawar Sabir


The nationalism is basically a concept referring to the areas of culture, history, language, and politics. The paper is emphasizing the concept of role played by media in creating the values in nationalism. The first section of the report is describing the concept of nationalism in general and in Pakistan's perspective. The second section of the paper is discussing the diversification of nationalism within Pakistan. The discussion is followed by the third section which is illustrating the issues of nationalism which includes ethnic issues as the base of conflicts for realizing the nationalism. The fourth section is discussing the general concept and over view including issues and different phases faced by media of Pakistan and the role it plays in nationalism. The last section is a concluding part discussing the new era globalization and role of media in nationalism.

In this section, it is concluded that the media has transformed in the past few years so rapidly that it creates a remarkable and sound picture of nationalism for Pakistan apart from the fact that it is still facing lots of issues and troubles.

Key Words: Nationalism, Federation, Globalization, Media, Ethnicity

An Overview of Nationalism in Pakistan

The ideology of nationalism has been defined as a feeling of belonging among the individuals of a nation and it is based on the religion, language, and ethnic origins. In Pakistan, the ideology of nationalism was first initiated with Islam as single religion. The Muslims of India were unified on the basis of religion to create a single national identity (Hussain, 2005). Nationalism in most general terms is all about identity, culture, traditions, political powers, and the state possessing most powerful container of politics. Alternatively, nationalism is the strong identification of individuals in a group with a political entity defined in national terms, that is, a nation. This paper is discussing the nationalism in Pakistan and its various aspects in terms of its variegation, ethnic problems and media.

However, nationalism can also be defined as feeling among group that is reawakened by modernity (Khan, 2005), thus nationalism in Pakistan is a result of struggle to have separate identification from the Hindus in the region of sub-continent Asia. Since the creation of Pakistan, nationalism is related to expression of historical, cultural, religious, linguistic and political values which is further elaborated as showing pride in the historical culture, heritage and identity of Pakistan that also helps to formulate future vision of Pakistan. Pakistan was result of single ideology but its creation has born new ideologies that flourished inside the country throughout the years. Regional and religious ideologies are important part of Pakistani politics and influence the authority by individual interest.

Therefore, nationalism of Pakistan basically refers to the expressions of political, cultural, linguistic, historical and religious by the individuals of Pakistan. It also illustrates various underlying forces which transformed the movement of Pakistan and influence the politics of Pakistan very strongly.

Pakistan came into existence as a result of increasing democratization and Indianization of Indian government specifically in terms of geographic distribution of the Muslim population, its cohesion and fear of dominating Hindus. The three political significant aspects of geographical distribution of Muslim population of India include, concentrated Muslim majority population in two areas as a result of which partition was feasible, the two area were about thousand miles of Indian territory which was supposed to make their union in a single state almost impossible, and the both areas were least developed areas in India (Binder, 1963). A strong desire and sense of Islamic nationalism came over the ambitions and desires of Muslims of India.

The next section examines the diversification of ideology forming diverse nationalism within same boundary.

Diversification of Nationalism in Pakistan

* Rourke and Boyer (2008) defined certain attributes of Nationalism, one of which is to establish values that indicate the difference between good and bad. Therefore, in terms of Pakistan, it meant to achieve accord and agreement on the role played by Islam in national politics. In order to accommodate and reconcile the idea of modern nation state in terms of religious state, Muslim League attempted to provoke the support initially for sovereign state as conceived by Jinnah which was based on the result of elections in India conducted by the British. For expanding the basis of support, Jinnah appealed to orthodox religious leaders with assurances that laws of Pakistan would be based on mandates of Islam. Such assurances sabotaged the efforts to establish the sovereign state conceived by Jinnah because various Muslims realize the sovereignty of Allah as supreme over the national sovereignty (Hamed, 2008).

Another attribute of nationalism defined by Rourke and Boyer (2008) was the demonstration of patriotism by the citizens which they gained as nations. For Pakistan, nationalism and the present sense of patriotism contains within a small minority which sets out to enforce the concept of nation state on every individual. The exclusive class of Punjabi and Mohajir minorities was initially called for an Islamic state of Pakistan as they desired an Islamic nation as long as control of Pakistan was not handed over to philosophers or scholars (Hamed,2008).

The third attribute of nationalism by Rourke and Boyer (2008) was related to the attempt for bringing the nation together under a single ideology. It is not easy and convenient to bring all ethnic nationalities of Pakistan under one ideology. For instance, it can be seen that Suuni and Shi'a possess different doctrinal beliefs. The assembling and uniting cry of Islamic nation initially worked for the short time period only. The core and origin of the nation was planted in the decades before 1947 followed by the attempts to create bonds between various religious and political groups and it was fulfilled with very limited success along with the possibility of it working against Pakistan. During 1990s, a great tension and collusions between Shi'a and Sunni Muslims were evidenced which made Pakistan instable in terms of politics for most of the period of 1990s (Sinkler, 2005).

Even though Pakistan was established with the view to have separate nation state that represents the Muslims of sub-continent Asia (Binder,1963), yet immediately after its creation other problems began to emerge which both directly and indirectly deteriorated the nationalism process in Pakistan (Ali Banuazizi, 1988). This problem is related to diversification of nationalism on basis of sects and provincial or regional conflicts. Pakistani nation have been witnessed of seeing the country separated on account of provincial differences (separation of Bengal, East Pakistan), similarly the existence of four other most populated provinces namely Sind, Punjab, Baluchistan and Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa (recently replaced as a result of regional interest based crisis with federal government) have been engaged in different level of conflict.

The main reason of such conflict is the failure of federal government to represent each province equally satisfying their interest and avoiding discrimination among provinces; thus, such provincial based conflicts are linked with the failure of federal government (John,2009). In addition, religion has always played an important role in the politics of Pakistan and indirectly it has impacted the nationalism by dividing the overall population of Pakistan into different sects and different class i.e. religious extremist, liberal and moderate. Once again government seems to fail in determining the authoritative power considering as central religious body which assumes the religious issues and prevent them to influence nationalism process in the country.

As (Chitkara, 1996) has elaborated that the real problem of diversification of nationalism in Pakistan is that there is more than one ideology which represents individual interest and government finds itself incapable to deal with the situation. Pakistani nationalism is threatened by the groups who want to enforce particular set of rules to dominate the country rather than sustaining the integration of territories.

Problem with Nationalism in Pakistan

The founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, wished to construct a strong nation completely based on the principle of one nation, one culture and one language. All successors of Jinnah adopted the same inspiration as the heads of the state and in a less formal manner from the Urdu culture.

The prelude to the first Constitution of 1956 postulated that the citizens of Pakistan should organize their lives according to the principles of Islam as depicted in Qur'an and Sunna (Jaffrelot, A History of Pakistan and its origin, 2004). Since its establishment, Pakistan has faced different difficulties and nationalism with concern to identity has been the most problematic national issue for Pakistan. Pakistan, being born from the old division of Indian civilization, has been struggling to construct its culture which gives it different identity, not much different from Indian culture but at the same time must be recognized as different by the world (Jaffrelot, Pakistan: nationalism without a nation?, 2002).

After more than half century, nationalism in Pakistan has two faces or in other words there are two levels of values of nationalism exist. At first, there is nationalism which forms all Pakistani as one nation and according to that all Pakistanis possess one nationality and are citizen of Pakistan; similarly it is observed that government and media in Pakistan continuously attempts to prevail the value for nationalism among the citizen by showing threaten from India (Jaffrelot, Pakistan: nationalism without a nation?, 2002). Conversely, for more than five decades, it has been observed that nationalism in Pakistan is disintegrated on the basis of linguistic, ethnicity and region. To Jaffrelot (2002), nationalism is an ideology which combines the people into a group and this formation occurs as a result of territorial, ethnic and social construction rather than on the basis of religion or language. Thus this definition excludes the linguistic group and religious communities.

Pakistan, on the other hand, appears to be an unachieved nation on account of ethnic identities they have. Pakistan with disintegrated nation has been going through different problems. No matter what the nature of the problems is, media has long been playing its role in the creation of values of nationalism in Pakistan.

Basically, Pakistan is multi-ethnic state as each of its provinces is associated with specific linguistic groups such as Punjab is associated with Punjabis, Sindh is associated with Sindhis, Balochistan is associated with Balochs, and NWFP is associated with Pashtuns. There are, however, various divisions of ethnic and linguistic within every unit. Sindh is the most diverse province of Pakistan in terms of enthnicity as Mohajirs form the majority in urban Sindh, and Sindhis dominate the rural Sindh and moreover, Punjabis, Pashtuns and Balochs also resides in Sindh. Siraikis and Sindhis are in a considerable amount residing in Balochistan as this province is home based province for Balochs and Pashtuns. Moreover, Punjab and NWFP are also not homogenous provinces any more (Mushtaq, 2009).

The Mohajir nationalism depicts the paradox in the content of ethnic conflict because it is still going through the phase of its birth. Basically, in 1947, Mohajirs migrated to Pakistan from various geographical regions, linguistic groups and ethnic communities of India. They are not only dominating in political area of Pakistan but also business and bureaucracy. Now, Mohajirs, considered themselves as a part of Sindh especially Karachi and this was the result of arriving of new migrants challenging their interests in terms of culture, economic and politics (Waseem, 1996).

The federation of Pakistan is unable to manage the ethnic difference as a result of which it becomes the first post-colonial state experiencing a successful rebel movement during 1971 but still, Pakistan is one of the most complex states in terms of ethnicity and linguistics. Political instability is a result of political violence and mobilization along ethnic boundaries and to resolve such issue various alternatives have been presented for managing the diversity in Pakistan. Some of the proposed solutions include re-organization of provincial boundaries, constitutionalism, alliances, power sharing etc (Mushtaq, 2009).

This paper intends to examine the role of media in the creation of nationalistic value in Pakistan with especial reference to media as strong source or tool for creating the values of nationalism.

Pakistani Media and Nationalism

With the disruptive nationalist ideologies in the period of globalization, present nationalism is significantly different from the ideology of nationalism in nineteenth and early twentieth century. Today, it is seen that nationalism is impacted and increased by the mutual incompatibility between local as well as global world. However, nationalism has its deep root in diverse political, and cultures while different national trends impacts the way of media and journalists choose to demonstrate the news stories about national collective identities and the national interests. It is considered that national welfare development impacts the news coverage criteria towards a less narrow-minded and more responsible attitude on the part of the press. The role of mass media, since 1960s with the ideological state equipment, was able to organize the social image more concentrating on the ideology of national identity and national interest.

In the case of Pakistan's national integrity and solidarity the role of media is very critical because Pakistan has observed different changed with the passage of time and there is great influence of media in the country. Since national integrity and solidarity have been core national issues of Pakistan, and press media has been rather active in analyzing these problem through generating the public awareness than electronic media. However, in Pakistan electronic media has long been missing its place to make significant influence to create national values. Pakistan survived for decades with many nationalities, religious sub-thoughts and struggled to maintain country's integrity but media could not play its significant role as a result of being under influence of government except press.

Consequently it led to consideration that media policy very much affects its effect in society. According to (Price, 1995), organized activity of media for social imagery was achieved by different controlling policies and it has directed to considerable and firm construction of consent in the name of the population within a nationality and nation state. The consent is taken from the symbolic and imaginary way of "we" and "them", and it is implemented by the media event and the selection criteria of news and its presentation. To (Dayan, 1992), this consent is more prominent when it is about foreign policy issues and the international relations of a nation state. (Gans,1979) contends that nation is presented as a unified entity through TV news which is framed into anthropomorphic term. In addition, ethnocentrism is considered as one of the main journalistic values through which TV news is selected and presented.

In the same way, since Pakistan has long been ally with the US state government and after 9/11 attacks the news coverage by electronic media in Pakistan had followed the international relation policy of Pakistani government through which Pakistani media showed sympathy with the people and citizen of the US (Pludowski, 2007). Within the country media is more likely to play a neutral role when it is about national issues like Kalabagh Dam; however, media focuses on the importance of federation consideration and relied on the public interest.

Generally people consider mass media as mean of determining the knowledge level and information about the national and international alliances, political players and foreign policy; similarly, news coverage both by press and electronic media also gives the geopolitical image of a country. For many decades nationalist movement was based on the typography and according to (McLuhan, 1987) printed word make it possible to give the rise of national languages, producing common way of communication, and, as a result of it they have view of a common destiny. Urdu press in Pakistan, on the other hand, has been most careless and irresponsible in the world as it has always been indulge in promoting such conspiracy theories that could be harmful for the union of all provinces and its national image inside and outside the country.

As discussed above that language communication is more powerful than picture communication with the view to have intimacy with the people using common language, Pakistani Urdu press media is deteriorating the national values by relying on the propaganda and prejudice views. However, here it is not significant to overview if the word of truth is promoted but more importantly that the news content is not relevant to promote the values of nationalism in the country (Gupta, 1999). However, the role of media with nationalism can also be observed in the time of war especially with reference to radio. Radio through broadcasting spreads the common words of fear and hate towards the other nations. Bias nationalism affects the selection as well as presentation of news stories and eventually results in outburst of nationalist mobilizations. The role of radio in Pakistan has similarly been motivated to promote the national values by the war threat from India in 1965 (Ali, 1995).

Similar to theoretical concept about the role of radio with the context of creating the values of nationalism; radio in Pakistan is now less active is promoting integrated national values. Radio during the separation of East Pakistan from the West Wing had been remarkably positive and active in promoting integration between both wings on the other hand, radio in Bengal was active in disintegration of Bengal from the West Pakistan (Kabir, 1994). As far as religious harmony is concerned, Pakistani media has played significant role in promoting the liberal and moderate view of Islam by strongly preventing the extremist thoughts such as suicidal bomb attacks and views about dividing the country in the name of religion. However, media sounds responsible about the religious issue in the country and therefore favor the tolerance and justice.

The media in Pakistan is often pressurized by political spheres indirectly. The most widely and commonly tool used by the government is to remove media from governmental advertising. The government also uses draconian laws to ban and officially silencing the renowned television channels. For this purpose, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority or PEMRA has been used to ban the broadcasting media by either suspending their licenses or simply threatening them about suspension of their licenses (Between Radicalisation and Democratisation in an unfolding conflict: Media in Pakistan, 2009).

Nationalism and Pakistani Media in the Era of Globalization

Present nationalism is not the result of reemergence of past but rather integral and self-reliant. The ideology of nationalism is different from the ideology that existed in ninetieth and twentieth century. Nowadays, nationalism ideology is more influenced by the global trends. However, the process of globalization occurs both on the level of systemic integration and on the level of social integration. Systemic integration refers to economy, technology, and communications; on the other hand, social integration is life-world. The process of globalization takes place in a very systematic way and occurs from place to place. Thus, in modern period ideology of nationalism is taken into account as local reaction of political system and mutual identities to different number of national welfare development (Robins, 1991).

New era of popular electronic media is Pakistan is more like autonomous body especially electronic media which seems to find different ways through which public of Pakistan is making a successful transition to a democracy. Pakistan possesses energetic landscape of media among various dynamics in South Asia. The media in Pakistan enjoys the maximum freedom to the large extent disregarding any political pressure and sometimes direct bans by political stakeholders. There are more than forty channels which emit soaps, musical programs, religious speeches, political talk shows, and news every hour. However, very often the media has been criticized for being unprofessional and politically biased; still a great contribution has been made by the television channels to the media landscape and society of Pakistan (Between Radicalisation and Democratisation in an unfolding conflict: Media in Pakistan, 2009).

However, values of nationalism in Pakistan is complicated with the view of having multi-linguistic and ethnic population (Akbar, 1998)i but this complication is also related with lack of democracy in Pakistan and impartial judicial process which can remarkably overcome the disintegration (Akhtar, 2000). Pakistani media now seems to have role of watch-dog while holding the politicians and making them accountable and keeping the public informed of the situation. In other words, media can be considered as one of the most essential source playing its key role in the nationalism of Pakistan in different aspects.

As far as role of television is concerned historically one of the evidence of media influence on the nationalism was observed in the late century when nationalist mobilization occurs owing to effects of TV pictures and power of media to construct the imaginary national community. According to (Meyrowitz, 1985), the presentation and directness of TV pictures allows focusing on the local event to change into event of national and international interest. The effectiveness of media impact in the creation of nationalism is not measured yet but TV has been observed effective for spreading a word at a distance. In last few years electronic media in Pakistan has grown well with the inception of private news channels and radio channels; therefore now media is much free but less responsible in terms of bearing the responsibility towards creating the values for nationalism in the country.

Even though if it is assumed that electronic media in Pakistan is not effective or playing role to promote national values to integrate the country, yet Pakistani media has deep effect on the popular consciousness (Jaffrelot, Pakistan: nationalism without a nation?, 2002).

To assess the historical role of television in Pakistan it is significant to overview the effectiveness of television in the creation of national values. Television with the coordination of demand and aims distant plays an important tool which forms the practical narrative and also creates group identity. Television is very friendly tool when it is used to address national minorities (Anthony, 1990). Here it is essential to mention that current nationalism or previous nationalism is not the result of media communication but media has been used as such structure that aids to find the origination and development. However, once nationalism is created as on political ideologies, it can be effective or manipulative for media. Pakistan television which is government entity failed to maintain that integrity and promote the nationalism on account of government influence on the coverage of news (Asian Media Information and Communication Centre, Media and Democracy in Asia, 2000)

To (Altheide, 1979), there could be two different trends in relation to nationalism or national identification and media. At first it is excess or fast moving changing picture and images, this is the result of logic behind the concept of television. The commercialization in TV forms nation's identification the nation with indefinite, sporadic, and sometimes insecure identification. (White, 1992)ii Justifies it as citizen- viewers are with interrupted views and actions and usually have contradiction views. Thus, national dominancy over the social imagery is changed with diverse similarities. The last century (quarter of the twentieth century) is witness of the situation and was resulted as broadcasting deregulation and globalization of information and economy (Lash, 1994). (Bauman, 1993)explains that it helps to promote the sense of co-belonging and also affects other mutual identity that is likely to conceal neo-tribalism.

The relationship between nationalism and media is affected by both materially and conceptually and it is changing and shifting cultural, political and economic configuration (Schlesinger, 1991). Therefore, nowadays nationalism ideology has become a mediatized and it is used through TV which through narrative language leads to change in understanding and views of an individual towards national identity and feelings of nationalism. To (Luke, 1995), nationalism is nowadays related to and reproduced as part of real life and more associated with the national identity.

Similarly, there is another trend related to globalization of communication; since globalization of communication has directed the world towards limited cultural difference and viewers usually find it easy to maintain the nationalism and make selective interpretation of international message. According to (Negrine, 1990), paper and electronic media maintains their national integrity and interest and this orientation is observed by the news presentation especially international news.

Another essential source of information considered is radio channels. Beside Radio Pakistan, there are various private radio channels carrying independent journalist context and news and most of the context on such channels is entertainment and music. In addition to this, there are various newspapers are published from national Urdu newspaper to local papers. Hence, Pakistani media is also divided linguistically with series of different languages like Sindhi, Punjabi, Pashto etc (Between Radicalisation and Democratisation in an unfolding conflict: Media in Pakistan, 2009).

Pakistan has been observing new era of modern communication in the country and local news channels within the country are more concerned about the national issues. Both electronic and press media in Pakistan is more focusing on the future of Pakistan as independent nation with different identity in the world. However, media in Pakistan is considered as effective entity with the perception to show the culture of Pakistan to the world and get them identified as separate nation. The news coverage of national issue, on one hand, is likely to support the national interest of the country, on the other hand national government and politics are more criticized by news channels. With such combination, television in Pakistan is politicized and looks rather defocused on promoting the national integrity and national identification. As far as foreign policy is concerned the news media apply distinctive influence on the audience with the use of language and images.

Since there is little contribution of television in Pakistan as a result of limited personal experience and involvement in the issues the news presentation is commonly like cycle with popular expectations cultivated by national stereotypes especially in the time of nationalist enthusiasm. With reference to diverse nationalism issues in the country even though media looks divided into different language and religion based channels, but news channels and news papers hype any issue that is concerned with the religious and provincial problems. Local newspapers are engaged in supporting the injustice made by the federal government with the provinces; moreover government conduct is represented to demonstrate the discrimination among provinces.

However, this level of news coverage help particular group to have justice through spreading the right word around by indicating the wrong gesture, very little effort is observed that support the integrity of the provinces such as Pakistani media unnecessary highlight the provincial conflicts. In addition, media is less supportive in favoring government, while more hype the issue that goes against the government conduct.

Pakistan and Media Groups

The creation of chains of media in Pakistan was a result of response to a broad project of patriotism and nationalism, where few of the most remarkable figures in the movement for political independent Pakistan were very close to the ownership structure of the first news papers at the national level. The concept of an independent media was still missing in the era of pre-independence and after independence, the project of nationalism continued and gradually spread throughout the entire nation by Islamic Ideology (Mezzera and Sial, 2010).

Now today, the existing media groups are driving by the corporate and business interests, and some owners use such groups as guarding cover for the interests of their business, hence, these owners are not media individuals. One of the most prominent examples in this scenario is the Century Publications group, which publishes the Urdu Daily Express owned by Mr. Lakhani, who also is the head of

American based fast food chain McDonalds within Pakistan. Another distinguishing characteristic of the media outlook in Pakistan is the close association existed historically as expected between the military and media groups. For instance, one of the preceding dictators, Zia - ul - Haq, is reported to have reminded once that one of the founding pillar of All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) and owner of the Nawa - i - Waqt group of publications had no right to complain regarding the absence of freedom as military had provided lot of benefits to the business. Alternatively, military command and administration have been propagating all media laws in Pakistan since many years and such laws were never been discussed in the national parliament (Mezzera and Sial, 2010).

It can be observed that the media has acted as a platform for offering opportunities to various individuals in order to have their voices heard by others from a very long time. Other vital institutions, in fact, were in a strict control of military commands through the issuance of Provisional Constitutional Orders and Legal Framework Orders. The very first attention of military commanders towards news media was observed when the representative of military took control of the country. Among various steps taken by General Ayub Khan was observed after the declaration of Martial Law in 1958 was the establishment of Bureau of National Research and Reconstruction which became the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting after wards (Nawaz, 2008).

Marketable and Profitable Interests

The most essential issue that is needed to be considered at first place is the purported intentions for the owners of media. The owners of oldest media groups claimed to operate outside marketable interests with the aim to serve Pakistan was close to the truth to some extent but the circumstances were changed with the passage of time as the new role players possessing different political and economic intentions entered this market. These political powers by understanding and gripping enabled the operators of media to place the profits and political power at the top position of their incentives. Moreover, there were certain cases in which the media groups were producing negative financial outcomes; hence, the impact of such outcomes in economic terms on other businesses owned by same owners could offset the losses in terms of medium for advertisements or the platform for publicizing the governmental officials returning the favor as discounts and recognitions for advertisements.

Therefore, it is also believed by one of the media activists that mostly channels of television are not financially strong in Pakistan, but still are consistently operating so as to provide a protection to other business projects that helps in hedging the taxes and unveil the status of power. It also has been argued by others that media in Pakistan has gained the power holding position with the army and common people by involving them in the game of democracy. Despite the fact that democracy and free media are forfeited in the free market economy that is vital and essential element of capitalism (Jan, 2009).

It is certain that the marketing managers of media groups are deciding on the space and coverage of issues at first place. At second place, the owners are implanting the remarkable impact on space and coverage of news reports on the matters of administration and editorial policies that are drafted according to the political and commercial interests. At the third place, the category of media owners managed to target and captured the symbolic institution of professional editors. As a result of which, the preceding categorization between the editorial and administrative policies has terminated to exist which had provided the space for neutral and equitable journalism to some extent. The increased significance of such factors of commercials can be considered in the excessively high number of advertisements, news and analysis pertaining to the politics in print media and electronic media.

The coverage of societal and human rights issues is given a slight room by not providing them place within the schema and memo of Pakistani media. Moreover, advertisements have played a vital role with respect to the problems of commercial interests and impact on the outlook of Pakistani media. The outlook which has been occupied by the state contains approximately about twenty five percent stake in the advertisement budgets of regional press. Consequently, the regional newspapers faced pressures from the monopoly of advertising with a yearly budget of about twenty million dollars. The significance of such procedure can be considered in a way that government utilizes this colossal advertising budget by levying certain conditions on the policies of regional newspapers (Kalansooriya, 2010).

Freedom of Media in Pakistan

The Pakistani media has not always been overcame by the establishment and nonetheless kept its most pronounced evaluators under control with the help of system of investment and benefits that has been able to possibility of an alternative method known as repression. During 1948, it has been observed that the first recorded attack on the freedom of media was with the interdiction of three periodicals belonging to PPL by the Muslim League Government of Punjab. The Provincial government of Sindh got along with the hostile circulation of 'Dawn' because of the attack on ministry. The most basic reason of the act of such repression was the publication of an editorial which proved to be unfavorable to the Prime Minister. During the same year, the Official Secrets Act, an oppressive heritage from the past was referred by the Government to make the press silent on constitutional mechanism that had become obvious.

The reaction of the press was instantaneous and unified by calling such step in terms of an exceptionally unjustified and incorrect order. According to the official reports represents that during the period of 1947 - 1953 of Pakistan, thirty one newspapers were banned in Punjab (Report,1954).

The ideology of nationalism was often used as involuntary argument to create troubles for publications that were not following the path of power holders. Patriotism was presented as the elite monopoly of governing class and bureaucracy for the nation of Pakistan because the governing class and bureaucracy knew to provide meaning to such essential concept. Therefore, when the weekly publication of 'New Orient' declared during 1949 to stand for a sovereign and democratic Pakistan where inequalities made by human individuals be eradicated and demanded the most renowned democratic constitution while maintaining the basic human rights but it was forced to shut down after publishing of few issues. Moreover, the extensive impacts of such type of internationalization of the addressing of army by national media were confirmed by the discussion in country after the announcement of Kerry Lugar bill was finally passed in the US Congress during September 2009.

According to the most renowned media analyst, entire media has reacted in unified manner and authorized the harsh evaluation expressed by the military of Pakistan towards the legislation. Furthermore, it was not a fluke that national media would take over argument of Inter Services Public Relations classifying the Kerry Lugar bill in terms of an attempt by the United States to compromise the sovereignty of Pakistan imposed on the national security issues of Pakistan and intervene aspects of Pakistani military and civilian operations. In other words it was evident that the media was responding to the propaganda of military and presenting the considerable level of accommodation (Iqbal, 2009).

Challenges of Media in Pakistan

While journalists and their organizations are struggling hard to win the liberties and rights for media, they failed to focus sufficiently on the improvement of professionalism and the quality of journalism. Various journalists in Pakistan have been shot to dead from an estimate of two thousand during 2002 to ten thousand during 2010. Very little qualitative effort was made to enhance the professional capacities of journalists and organizations which include press clubs and universities participated in professional coaching. It was due to the slow development of professional journalism coaching systems within Pakistan which failed to match the fastest growth of media industry. Moreover, until 2007, all over Pakistan there were only twelve journalism schools and departments in universities and the wide expansion was demanded by media boom in the educational system as a result of which number of media schools have increased to thirty two.

There are media supportive organizations that operate media schools in order to provide refresher and short term training courses to journalists, the occasional training courses for journalists are also provided to deal with safety, technical and reporting issues. The outcome of such initiatives and measures are still very limited and out dated with the fast speed of expansion of media (Ashraf, 2010).

Most journalists of Pakistan are not trained to interpret, investigate and analyze the difficult issues relevant to the politics, conflicts etc because of the presence of inappropriate academic and professional expertise. In fact, the exaggeration is one of the basic elements affecting the news reporting of Pakistan and the Urdu media relies widely on the exaggeration. One of the fundamental reasons of such specific attribute of Urdu media is that there are psychological and socio- cultural sensitivities linked with the audiences of Urdu concerning the matters which strongly determine the public preferences and the manner in which they are intended to understand the circumstances.

It is necessary for the Urdu media to consider such sensitivity and concern affecting the large proportion of the population. Furthermore, within the outlook of electronic media, such trend of exaggeration can be evidenced by the forcing need to be the first to deliver breaking news to the public in order to receive higher ratings and popularity (Rehmat, 2008).


The paper has been discussing the role played by the media in nationalization of Pakistan while focusing on the electronic and print media. There is another media that deserves the attention in Pakistan and it is Radio, as the support development has been started by the international development agencies of national FM Radios providing the basic educational and competition programs. It is essential to monitor such developments and analyze the existing community radios as they are rapidly expanding within Pakistan.

In most general terms, education contains the key to the development of a professional media and well informed opinion of public. It has been observed that without intervening of educational system, the media of Pakistan cannot be transformed; therefore education should be made accessible to everyone so that the information is not restricted to the elite class. It is also obvious that without guaranteeing the personal security for the journalists, the professional journalism cannot experience the expansion successfully. In this regard, the training for personal safety for media workers and journalists could be one way towards the success. All such measures for the issues could lead the media of Pakistan towards success and the nationalism of Pakistan can be determined globally in the most obvious way by the people across the globe.


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Source Citation

Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|A278486564