Content Analysis versus Level of Objectivity: The Nuclear Proliferation Issue in Pakistan and its Coverage by Leading Newspapers

By Najma Sadiq and Salman Qureshi.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Beginning in early 2004, Pakistan’s standing in the global political community shifted. One vital reason for this shift was the nuclear proliferation issue (NPI). This issue was constantly and extensively covered by both international and local media. The objective of the present study is to examine the extent to which NPI is covered in leading Pakistani newspapers and the level of objectivity of this coverage. This study analyzed the coverage by four leading newspapers in Pakistan - two of which were English language newspapers (Dawn and The News), the other two are Urdu language dailies (Khabrain and Nawa-i-Waqt). Newspaper content from a critical four week period was collected and categorized as news, editorials, articles and pictures. Frequency, space and number of columns of these categories were measured and the level of objectivity (as proposed by Hayakawa-Lowry’s news bias categories) was calculated. The results showed that all four newspapers have given extensive coverage to the issue and that Dawn newspaper had higher level of objectivity than the other three newspapers, that is, Khabrain, The News and Nawa-i-Waqt.

Keywords: Nuclear Proliferation, Journalistic Objectivity, Pakistani Nuclear Program, Hayakawa-Lowry, News Bias Categories

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 5, pp.241-254. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 720.309KB).

Dr. Najma Sadiq

PhD Scholar, Faculty of Communication Science, University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria

Najma Sadiq is doing PhD in Communication Science from Salzburg University, Austria. She is working on the theory of peace journalism. During PhD, she got an opportunity of presenting a seminars related to media, conflict and terrorism in Pakistan, Austria and Italy. She delivered lectures to master’s students at Salzburg University. Her main focus is on the analysis of the media coverage of sensitive issues. She worked in the field of intercultural competence and gender issues; and also wrote blogs at Peace and Collaborative Development Network and World Pulse. Before furthering her study as a doctoral researcher, she served as a ‘Media and Research Officer' in an NGO and as 'Marketing Executive' at an IT company. She had 2 and half years work experience after completing her masters in Communication Science and joining PhD studies in Austria on a scholarship from Higher Education Commission, Pakistan.

Dr. Salman Qureshi

Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, University of Karachi, Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan

Salman Qureshi is Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of Karachi. He did his Ph.D. from the Department of Geography and Geology, University of Salzburg, Austria; studied the spatial patterns of human behavior towards nature in multicultural urban environment using techniques of anthropocentric ecology. He is the Vice President of the European Association of Geographers and Treasurer of the Society for Urban Ecology. He has participated in more than 40 international conferences and presented his multidisciplinary research. He serves at the editorial boards of several refereed journals and has produced more than 30 research publications in journals of high academic repute. His research is truly multidisciplinary where he tries to fuse the modelling methods of physical and social sciences. Being a geographer, trained in social and human geography, he likes to study the major social issues deriving other processes from local to regional scales.

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