Umme Ummara1 and Musa Raza2
1Doctoral candidate Innovation and Management of Public Resources, PhD. Program in Government and International Relations, University of Molise, Campobasso, Italy
2Masters in Business Management University of Teramo, Italy
Abstract: In current digitalized era electronic media has very responsible roles in society. An old common perception regarding the role of media was to keep informed, aware and act as a source of entertain has now changed. Rather in the last couple of decade media has taken up a role of watch dog on government, mirror of the society and a window to the global world. The research is carrying through to find out the effect of media on the perception building of common citizen. There have been numerous studies over the impact of media and its impact on socio-psychological issues. However this study is an effort to establish the linkage between electronic media and its impact on audience on major social and current issues. For the conceptual understanding study takes notes from primitive works of Aristotle on senses and modern theories of psychology, sociology and communication. Theories on opinion making, agenda setting and priming are discussed in a sequential manner. It provides a platform to the researchers to review past research works to find the answers. Findings reveal the actual relationship of electronic media and perception of the audience. It also validates the hypothesis developed by the researchers.
Keywords: Media, Perception Building, Print Media, Electronic Media, Viewer’s behaviour.
The effect of media is evident and its impact is as old as the historical backdrop of the subject itself. Society has been continuous surprised about media affects by bringing ephemeral change in their surroundings and pattern of behavior. In the last 50 years the media impel developed significantly with the advancement of technology. It is what we need, for work, progress, live and prosper in the today’s tough competitive environment and we live in a world that thrives on information and communication.
Pakistan in particular has faced some very unique situations. A country which has risen from ashes of partition, governed by military dictator for the major part of it existence, low literacy rate and dominating role of feudal and clergy. Through these we have developed our national outlook and behavior. It is in our innate nature not to research and find out the facts on our own and rather rely on ready information. And we start making our perception based on that information presuming it to be the right perspective. All this has set Pakistan to have a greater propensity to get influenced if any set of information is laid in-front of them.
Pakistan’s media dates from the times of pre partition when it has acted as a voice of the Muslims and countering anti Muslim propaganda. The then print media for Muslims of the sub-continent established with an errand i.e. to promote the ideology of Pakistan, which at that time was seen as the best national option for the minority (Muslims) in British India and as a type of self-defense against concealment from the majority (Hindu).
Traits like Self-defense for being a minority, horrors of partition days, post independence struggle coupled with the role of army, and Islam as a religion of Pakistan has had its deep impact on the national outlook of the country and also had a huge impact on Pakistan’s media as they attempted to utilize or control media to defend government’s interests.
In this context first media law PPO Press & Publication was brought in 1962 by khan. The regulation was not to nurture the media rather it was to seize newspapers, close down news providers. PTV & Pakistan Radio, which were started in mid-1960’s have always been under government’s influence. Especially during the tenure of General Zia-ul-Haq in the 1980’s through few amendments serious hold backs were imposed against publication which were not liked by the administration. It was until the regime of General Pervaiz Musharraf that media had a notable progress that lead to a robust development in Pakistani electronic media. New liberal media laws broke the state’s monopoly on electronic media. Broadcasting licenses were given to private media houses. There is perception that liberalization of media was intentionally done so that Pakistani media could be used to promote national security in wake of the learning that Pakistan armed force had from Kargil War and the hijacking of the Indian Airliner by Pakistani based militants. All these required an improved electronic media capacity in the future hence a market for electronic media was liberalized (Rasmussen, F. 2009).
Through these steps the military wished to counter the Indian media but there assessment proved incorrect as the media and particularly the many new TV channels became a strong force in civil society. Media turned into a significant actor in the process that prompted the fall of Musharraf regime. By giving huge coverage of the 2007 Lawyers Movement’s the protest was supported in the name of an independent judiciary and democratic rule, left Musharraf with small support from civil society and the military. At last, he needed to call for elections.
When the market for electronic media was liberalized PTV’s syndication ended in 2003. This promoted the development of new private TV stations that were given licenses for cable or satellite and PTV was the only terrestrial station. This favored PTV, a large portion of the country populaces do not have access to the alternative TV stations that via cable or satellite. It also indicates that the government still wishes to have control over the private TV stations, as cable connection and satellite transmission can easily be shut down. The government not only sought to liberalize the electronic media on its own terms, yet additionally needed to control and utilize the media as a tool to fortify national interests (Rasmussen, F. 2009).
The advancement of electronic media has overwhelmingly affected Pakistani society in these 65 years. The Opportunities of communication have broken all obstructions across national boundaries and have prompted the germination of new thoughts through the cross pollination of cultures. The essential elements of electronic media are; to inform, educate, impact and entertain. The coverage and viability of its effect is expanding day by day “In recent years Pakistani media has made another idea of political talk shows which are currently being strictly trailed by the regular masses. Additionally because of the availability of channels in rural and urban regions, these talk shows are making a quiet revolution in Pakistan which few advocates state that it is urging to have dialogue between different political elements and which will in the end lead into a consensus on major issues faced by the nation. Be that as it may, there is another group which feels that these political talk shows have done nothing in making mindfulness. Over five years have gone since these shows begun and we despite everything see the similar politicians get elected (Yousaf, Z. 2012a).
There have been number of studies regarding the pro-social and anit-social effects of viewing the television and motion pictures. But another concept that has gained a great attention in last 2 decades is the “priming effect” of media. In this paper the researchers have tried to find a link between the priming effects on the perception of people.
Most people think they are relatively unaffected by such things as viewing film and television violence because they realize that much of this violence is fiction meant to entertain, and thus should logically have little or no effect on their real-world decisions. But the last 30 years of social cognition research points to just the opposite, that people are generally unaware of the true influences on their attitudes and behavior and that a vast majority of these influences occur outside of conscious awareness (Shrum, L. J. 2009).
This paper will analyze whether the content shown on the private News Channels are creating awareness regarding two major contemporary issues i.e. the women rights in Pakistan, by discussing major issues pertaining to women rights and how media has discussed various aspects of this problem. Secondly the content showed on the electronic news media how much people have been aware of political agendas of political parties and overall understanding of political clout. What is their part of media in informing people and building perception and general opinion with respect to various controversial political issues and how they bring individuals close to political procedure?
There are some noticeable studies which were conducted in past on similar subject matter (Bukhari, B. 2002; Anjum, Z. 2007; & Yousaf, Z. 2012b). Research finding of prior rsearch established the relationship between the part of electronic media and its effect on audiences. There is not much work so far conducted on the topic of impacts of electronic media and its effects on audiences. Through this study the researchers are aiming to find the influence of television in creating awareness regarding two societal issues prevalent in Pakistan i.e.; influence that media has on creating opinion making on women’s rights and political awareness.
At present approximately 89 Pakistani channels are broadcasting for the local viewers as compared to 5 years back so there is much room to carry forward previous studies for evaluating the effect of electronic media on the perception of the target audience. It would also be the area of interest to find the alteration in perception of the audience due to mushrooming of the channels.
Electronic news media helps in building public opinion.
Media disseminate agenda based information to the audience.
Significance of the Study:
Television is an important tool of socialization, entertainment, information seeking, utilizing information as knowledge, access to the worldly affairs, and as an opinion builder. A part from television no other medium is as effective for a common man who can serve all above mention purposes.
On the other-side electronic media is also a two edge sword for the society in general and for common man in particular. To us as a researcher it is high time to evaluate electronic media and the outcomes of it on society. As we discussed in beginning of the study that majority of Pakistani populace is illiterate so the flood of information should be assessed and its impact should be monitored for the larger interest of the community. This study will record the impact of electronic media broadcast on two major social issues which may enables the government authorities to facilitate in shaping or formulating the code of conduct to align media contents for the productive utilization of media for shaping perception of the masses based on national agenda.
"Behold! human beings living in a sort of underground den, which has a mouth open towards the light and reaching all across the den; they have been here from their childhood, and have their legs and necks chained so that they cannot move, and can only see before them; for the chains are arranged in such a manner as to prevent them from turning round their heads.
At a distance above and behind them the light of a fire is blazing, and between the fire and the prisoners there is a raised way; and you will see, if you look, a low wall built along the way, like the screen which marionette players have before them, over which they show the puppets.
I see, he said. And do you see, I said, men passing along the wall carrying vessels, which appear over the wall; also figures of men and animals, made of wood and stone and various materials; and some of the prisoners, as you would expect, are talking, and some of them are silent?
This is a strange image, he said, and they are strange prisoners. Like ourselves, I replied; and they see only their own shadows, or the shadows of one another, which the fire throws on the opposite wall of the cave?
True, he said: how could they see anything but the shadows if they were never allowed to move their heads? And of the objects which are being carried in like manner they would see only the shadows?
Yes, he said and if they were able to talk with one another, would they not suppose that they were naming what was actually before them? "The Republic of Plato, Book Seven.
Humans are receipting machines. History of civilizations teaches us that in primitive world different tribes had different interpretation of worldly things despite of same machinery installed in their heads. Perception is dependent on sensation; our five senses are the gift of the God without which human brain is useless .It means humans learnt the interpretation of different messages in a sequential manner and builds perception upon it.
Aristotle called brain as tabula Rasa or unwritten slate on which experiences writes through the help of senses. Aristotle reasons that “the soul is an actuality like knowledge” on the grounds that “both sleeping and waking presuppose the existence of a soul” where sleeping corresponds to “knowledge possessed but not employed” and waking to “reflecting” (DE 412a 22-26).
In this study we are trying to understand the relationship between information imparted by an electronic box called television which may or may not be a single source of knowledge which in turn builds perception of the audience & television broadcasts rotates around the hypothesis of public opinion and agenda setting.
The researchers have gone through various literatures to develop an aptitude and understanding on the Mass communication concepts. Further study was made to understand the psychology and human behavior. Communication which is an act of interaction and interplay of emotions and information between individuals is an intrinsic and integral part of society. Every societal activity is based on communication. Both society and communication are intertwined. No society can exist without communication (Ravi, B. K. 2012).
The questions more insistently asked in social research on mass communication are how mass media affects and influences society. The reasons for asking such questions are the amount of time spent attending to mass media and the amount of resources invested in mass media, especially on production and distribution The media were thought to have great power because of the absence of other competing social and psychological influences on people (Kumar, D. R. 2011).
The interwoven cause and effect relationship between social change and media development has continued since the beginnings of recorded history. Communication media intrude into our lives more than most of us realize. At a national level it has assisted in overthrowing governments. The tools have worked quite efficiently in the hands of those who would sell us every known form of government from democracy to fascism, communism to theocracy. From Tom Paine's Common Sense pamphlets to Mao's little red books and the Ayatollah Khomeini's audiotapes, media have been used as tools of revolution. Lenin's smuggled writings promoted the Bolshevik revolution and the underground samizdat of writers living under communism promoted its end. Electronic devices have now joined the printed tools to bring added expansiveness to progressive enthusiasm. Our age has likewise seen fruitful media use by the individuals who have no clear ideology, no political agenda other than to develop rich or influential. Even if control of information does not always include responsibility, it does bring influence by journalists and other writers for the popular media, whom Witold Rybczynski calls the "ragmen of information”. While secondhand experience still depends, to a certain extent, on personal contact rumor and hearsay—the greatest single source of most people's secondhand experience is neither education nor conversation, but the media: newspapers, magazines, film, radio, and television. Nowhere is the influence of these ragmen of information felt more than on the public perception of technology. Why do we believe what we believe? What are the sources of our opinions and attitudes? Although the answers to such broad questions are complex, it is obvious that almost everything we know about present events beyond our limited horizons comes from media. In this we are different from ancestors who learned most of what they knew through direct experience. If not from such current events media as newspapers, radio, and television, our information has come from books, the storehouses of human memory (Fang, I. 1997).
The electronic media may be doing rather more than merely giving information. Some see them as having an unwelcome influence. They are thought to enhance the power of the already powerful. They are criticized for lowering cultural standards and of blurring the distinctive richness of many world cultures. Critics see them as promoting false values. They are seen as being dominated by powerful nations or multinational companies and as weakening further the already weak. There are others who see the modern electronic mass media as leading to greater violence, immorality and disrespect for tradition. They are often blamed for the supposed increase in crime. Many other ills of modern society have been blamed on television - rather less on radio. At the same time, others view the electronic media as having mostly beneficial effects. It is argued that they make democracy possible by widely disseminating the kinds of information people need when exercising democratic choices. They cut across social and economic barriers and provide equal access to educational and other information by which people can improve their own personal circumstances (Mytton, G. 1999).
From the study findings of (Mahsud, N. M. et al., 2011) it was explored from the experimental discoveries of the examination that the individuals have extraordinary reliance on the private channels for information for variety of purposes. Overwhelming majority of the viewer’s strongly certified that the private TV Stations were spreading mindfulness among the majority about politics and politics-related issues. They likewise believed that these channels are fundamentally useful to the individuals as in they are protecting and guaranteeing the privilege of the individuals to think about the issues confronting the society. The observational proof demonstrated that the private TV channels have contributed a lot in shaping up the public perception about issues of national interest by giving them abundance of precise and update information and impartial approach towards these issues. This condition increases the support to the presumption that “it is more likely that people watch private T.V channels for getting objective information.” It was additionally seen that the watchers likewise imagined that the private TV stations giving adequate data about the issues of national significance simply like war against terrorism, energy crisis, emergency, political instability, financial crunch, and NRO. As it was seen that the wonders of private channels has increased noteworthy situation in influencing our social, psychological and physical life.
To delimit the mass media, television has been considered as agent of change. Today television has emerged as significance source of information, entertainment and leisure activity for enormous number of individuals. It has become a key organization of auxiliary socialization and casual instruction. The greater part of our underestimated information and our conclusions and perspectives are based not on our own encounters, however on proof and information gave by television. Reporting of event today has been the fastest and more influential only through television. Indeed, if the television especially, did not report an occasion, the main individuals liable to think about it would be the individuals who were really included. For majority of us the mass media including TV are our only source of evidence. What's more, they shading, shape and even develop our perspective on the world (Zubairi, N. A. 2005).
A research by (Anjum, Z. 2007) reasoned that amusement was the main role of survey cable television and 70 percent female cable viewers were interested in watching only two kinds of programmers: movies and dramas. Just 17.3 percent of the women used cable television for information and awareness purpose.
Keeping in view the idea of research, Focus bunch strategy was considered to be an apt procedure for evaluating the degree of impact of private channels on viewers’ perceptions. One of the most significant strides in explore process is to determine the gathering of people or unit of investigation to be considered.
According to (Babbie, E. 1992) units of investigation are the individuals or things whose qualities social specialists watch, depict and clarify. (Neuman, L. W. 2007) units of investigation are the individuals or things whose qualities social specialists watch, depict and clarify drawn based on convenient sampling. Berkeley Journal of Social Sciences the Populace is characterized as, the universe of occasions from which the sample is drawn (Reinard. 1994). The name for the enormous general gathering of numerous cases from which a researcher draws a sample and which is usually stated in hypothetical terms (Neuman, L. W. 2007).
In this research, the universe consists of both men and women participants of focus group. Most of the researchers want to gather information from a bigger populace to guarantee most extreme validity of findings, yet in the wake of evaluating the ground realties it is very hard for the researchers to study the entire populace; so researchers adopt the process of sampling. Sample is a sub set of the absolute populace having the similar characteristics of whole populace. (Neuman, L. W. 2007) has defined sample as, a littler set of cases a researcher chooses from a bigger pool and generalizes to the populace.
According to (Babbie, 1992), a sample is a special subset of populace observed for purposes making inferences about the idea of the whole populace itself. (Reinard. 1994) writes, Sampling involves selecting events from a population because researchers rely on a portion of all data conclusion.
In view of time and resource constraints, convenient sampling procedure was used for the data collection. For conducting focus group 35 member consisting 18 males and 17 females were selected. Out of 35 respondents, 15 had 16 years of education, 13 had completed 14 years of education while 5 intermediate and 2 were matriculated. It was pictorial experiment where respondents were shown different pictures and were asked questions accordingly. The idea was to assess the recall value if the respondents could recall the names and issues related to the individuals/ objects shown in the pictures. Respondents were shown pictures of Malala Yousuf Zai, Mukhatara Mai, Usma Bin Laden, Supreme Court of Pakistan, Kalashnikov Rifle, Veena Malik.
All the respondents were asked following questions which were followed by an open discussion.
Do you know the person/ institution/ object?
How do you know about it?
Source(s) of your perception about the person/ institution/ object?
Did you try to gather/ read more about this from other source then Television?
The respondents were limited from close ended answers like Yes or No. But the discussion was kept open to note their opinion and perception regard and particular personality of institution.
In this section the findings of focus group is discussed in narrative and Graphical manner. Based on the methodology mentioned above following has been the outcome of the focus group.
Malala Yousuf Zai:
100% respondents recognized her with the name. 83% saw her first time on television. Rest of them got information through social media, newspaper or social circle and later followed on television. All of them were aware of the related issue that Malala belongs to Swat and recently she was attacked by Taliban. Majority of the respondents believed that the issue was highlighted by television.
It was interesting to find that majority of the respondents first time heard about her after attack on her despite the fact that Malala was already in news before the attack. She was praised and acknowledged for the effort she made to seek education during Taliban days in Swat. 91% of the respondents believed that media hype was given to this incident.
57% respondents recognized her with the name. While 20% respondents knew her but did not recall the name. Rest did not know about her. All of these respondents learnt about her through television. Respondents shared the details that she was victimized in a rape case and media highlighted the issue. It was Musharraf regime and foreign media also took up the story. She got help from NGOs and USA. Majority of respondents believed that there many such stories in our society but it was due to media hype the incident received outstanding support from government, human right activists, and general masses and even from USA.
Osama Bin Laden:
100% respondents recognized him with his name. Most of them knew about him first time after 9/11 event in USA. It was the time when Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden were taken up in news globally by media both electronic and print. Only 20% of the respondents actually knew him before 9/11 incident. Interestingly, 40% respondents believed that Osama was a myth and this character was only alive due to his projection on media. All respondents believed that media gave hype to this figure. They believed that his assassination was also staged to manipulate the fact. It was also noticeable that 20% of the respondents believed that he was a real fighter for the cause of supremacy of Islam.
Supreme Court of Pakistan:
86% respondents recognize the building of Supreme Court. Majority of the respondents related it with lawyers’ movement to achieve a free judicial system in Pakistan. They also acknowledged the role of electronic media and support to lawyers’ movement. It was the perception of 97% of the respondents that media played the role pressure group in lawyers’ movement.
The picture Kalashnikov (rifle) was shown to respondents. 91% of the respondents recognized the arm while rest of them knew about it but could not recall the name. 74% related it with phenomenon Kalashnikov culture and they believe that this culture was promoted during Zia’s regime as a result of Afghan was against former USSR. They believed that there was a great deal of arm smuggling and influx of was Afghan fighters in Pakistan. This believed was based on editorials in newspapers, documentaries and programs related to aftermath of Afghan war.
100% respondents recognized her with her name. Majority of them saw her first time doing hosting and mimicry in a highly rated program Hum Sab Umeed Se Hain. However, she got space in headlines and programs after her scandals with an Indian film star during Indian reality show Big Boss followed by a series of controversies. She came in lime light and under heavy criticism after photo session with a fashion magazine. Respondents believed that again it was media hype which made her talk of the town. However, they shared that their views about her were changed after these incidents.
The analyst of public opinion must begin then, by recognizing the triangular relationship between the scene of action, the human picture of that scene, and the human response to that picture working itself out upon the scene of action. The moving picture often emphasizes with great skill this double drama of interior motive and external behavior.
In the absence of institutions and education by which the environment is so successfully reported that the realities of public life stand out sharply against self-centered opinion, the common interests very largely elude public opinion entirely, and can be managed only by a specialized class whose personal interests reach beyond the locality. This class is irresponsible, for it acts upon information that is not common property, in situations that the public at large does not conceive, and it can be held to account only on the accomplished fact. In the first instance, therefore, the news is not a mirror of social conditions, but the report of an aspect that has obtruded itself. The news does not tell you how the seed is germinating in the ground, but it may tell you when the first sprout breaks through the surface. It may even tell you what somebody says are happening to the seed underground. It may tell you that the sprout did not come up at the time it was expected. The more points, then, at which any happening can be fixed, objectified, measured, named, the more points there are at which news can occur. The function of news is to signalize an event, the function of truth is to bring to light the hidden facts, to set them into relation with each other, and make a picture of reality on which men can act. Only at those points, where social conditions take recognizable and measurable shape, do the body of truth and the body of news coincide. That is a comparatively small part of the whole field of human interest. Re-education of this kind will help to bring our public opinions into grip with the environment. That is the way the enormous censoring, stereotyping, and dramatizing apparatus can be liquidated. Where there is no difficulty in knowing what the relevant environment is, the critic, the teacher, the physician, can unravel the mind. But where the environment is as obscure to the analyst as to his pupil, no analytic technic is sufficient. Intelligence work is required. In political and industrial problems the critic as such can do something, but unless he can count upon receiving from expert reporters a valid picture of the environment, his dialectic cannot go far. Therefore, though here, as in most other matters, "education" is the supreme remedy, the value of this education will depend upon the evolution of knowledge. And our knowledge of human institutions is still extraordinarily meager and impressionistic. The gathering of social knowledge is, on the whole, still haphazard; not, as it will have to become, the normal accompaniment of action. And yet the collection of information will not be made, one may be sure, for the sake of its ultimate use. It will be made because modern decision requires it to be made. But as it is being made, there will accumulate a body of data which political science can turn into generalization, and build up for the schools into a conceptual picture of the world. When that picture takes form, civic education can become a preparation for dealing with an unseen environment. For there is an inherent difficulty about using the method of reason to deal with an unreasoning world. Behind our pictures of the world, we can try to see the vista of a longer duration of events, and wherever it is possible to escape from the urgent present, allow this longer time to control our decisions. And yet, even when there is this will to let the future count, we find again and again that we do not know for certain how to act according to the dictates of reason. The number of human problems on which reason is prepared to dictate is small (Lippmann, W. 1922).
Agenda Setting is one of the most significant media hypotheses of the current times. The idea of agenda setting took its name from the possibility that the broad media have the ability to carry the salience of items on their news plans and afterward transfer it to the public significant media hypotheses of the current. Generally columnists deal with the news in few significant ways. Above all else, they decide which news to cover and which to overlook. According to the agenda-setting theory, because of the reality of focusing on certain issues and dismissing and overlooking some others, the mass media will affect general opinion. Individuals will be slanted to think about those issues and things, which are featured by the broad communications and they embrace the request for need appointed to various issues. This hypothesis primarily deals with learning and not with attitude or opinion change. Some of the empirical studies of mass communication had confirmed that the most expected effects to occur would be on matters of information. Usually, people learn what the issues are and how these are ordered in importance in the media agenda (Riaz, S. 2008). Further we have found experiments on agenda setting during the 1980,s, these studies focuses on the concept of priming. (Iyengar, S. et al., 1982) have linked preparing to media impacts during an investigation which was to measurer plan setting by the TV news media. This idea was essentially gotten from the subjective mental idea of preparing (Iyengar, S. et al., 1982).
In the contemporary world, the significance of media cannot be denied. If government of Pakistan truly expects to create an environment of mindfulness towards women's rights, media can be utilized as an influential and effective tool. The government can utilize the media to undertake a legal literacy campaign, and to inform men and women of their legal rights. For example, in rural areas, vast majority individuals listen to the radio; so, the radio can be a powerful tool to advice individuals about the significance of women’s rights. Workshops, Seminars, talks, discussions, and debates of women’s rights activists ought to be given coverage in media (Babur, Z. U. 2007).
The electronic media has understood and presented human rights issues in a variety of ways. Among various human right violation Women rights have been herald by the media to a substantial level. In recent times the importance of gender equality are being accepted and promoted globally. For the freedom of women in each field, economic independence is of foremost significance alongside making awareness with in society their privileges and duties the acknowledgment of their fundamental job and the work they do at home. The media is considered as the most intense and persuasive mean in such manner as it has the capacity of persuading and molding opinions (Zia, A. 2007b).
Women rights and empowerment measures in Pakistan continue to fall short of projections and promises despite some positive steps to ameliorate their condition. Pakistan ranks 82 out of 93 countries in the Gender Empowerment Measure and has a Gender Inequality Index value of 0.573, ranking it 115 out of 146 countries in the 2011. Reported incidents of violence against women increased from 7,571 in 2008 to 8,5393 by December 2011. Women occupy 22.2 % seats in the National Assembly, 17% in the Senate of Pakistan and 126 out of 728, seats (17.6%) in the Provincial Assemblies. It has been observed that against women there has been an increase in sexual and domestic violence, acid throwing, killings and rape. According to incidents reported and registered at different forums (police stations, Courts and complaint cells), there has been a 13% increase in crimes against women since 2008. More than 2000 women were killed in the name of honor from 2008 to the end of 2010 (Womens Right in Pakistan-Status and Challenges. 2002).
According to study of (Yousaf, Z. 2012b) Individuals in our society feel that for the improvement in our political structure, some credit is to be given to the private media news channels. Certainly, news channels have improved awareness about democracy in our country by presenting the fundamental fair standards and rights that a citizen has in a democratic society, their discussion and numerous different programs related to politics.
When there is increased collaboration between organizations and communication gaps are narrowed down, there is always some advancement toward progress and therefore, the media is acting as change agents of our society and are playing their role. The process of political socialization definitely has change pace of the whole world. It has narrowed down the communication gaps. The relations between media and audience can be improved by this phenomenon. Due to the process of political socialization media has definitely played a better role in producing awareness of audience. Different programs have been managed in the form of a proper campaign using media. As far as the democratic structure of Pakistan is concerned, there is definitely some improvement in it due to the influence of media; the empowerment process, women rights, education, peace process, health and job opportunities are in the process of improvement due to the process of political socialization. Media have definitely played their role in improving the freedom of expression. The media in Pakistan today is much more free and bold than the past and this advancement has been made due to the influence new channels.
Research findings of (Yaser, M. N. et al., 2010) explore the individuals’ consumption patterns of media political information and their political participation during General Elections 2008. The individuals in a single manner or the other use media for securing political data yet with a level of contrast. Among the chose sort of media, TV is perceived as the most favored medium which is used by the large respondents regularly (45.7%).It has been observed that TV is perceived as the most favored medium by the respondents for acquiring political information during elections 2008 followed by relational channels and newspapers respectively.
The same study's findings extended full support to the research theories: it is more likely that the voters get political information more from TV as compared to the newspapers ' and ‘ it is more likely that voters gain political information more from television channels as compared to radio. So also, these findings increase partial support to the research theories: ‘all things considered, kind of mass media give progressively political information as compared to interpersonal channels 'It was partially supported in term of TV as giving more political information than interpersonal channels and in part dismissed as relational channels give increasingly political data when contrasted with other chose media. Based on the observed empirical findings it can be concluded that the overall respondents and those belonging to different demographic groups are significantly of the view that television played major role in influencing their voting behavior followed by relational channels. Newspapers, however, played a little part while radio assumed practically no job in this association. The findings of the research extended partial support to the theory: 'almost certainly, relational channels impact voters' political cooperation more than broad communications political substance. It was partially rejected as voters' political participation was influenced more by television as compared to interpersonal channels and partially accepted as the influence of interpersonal channels was far more as compared to newspapers and radio in this regard.
Observers tend to agree on the supposition that the significant accomplishments of the lawyers’ movement can be explained, to a huge extent, by the close relationship that the movement developed with the national media.
The primary factor behind this example of overcoming adversity of common noncompliance, which at last added to the expulsion of a military tyrant, has been verifiably the high level of perceivability that the development delighted in by methods for the wide and free inclusion offered by the nation's media all through a large portion of its advancement. Basically by offering inclusion of the legal counselors' activities and dissent, the media turned out to be a piece of the procedure of political and legal change that began to happen in Pakistan March 2007 (Mezzera, M., & Sial, S. 2010).
At the point when the lawyers’ movement took off, following the 9th March 2007 sacking of Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, the media sce in Pakistan had already been profoundly marked by the electronic media liberalization drive that had been launched in 2002. In the space of a few years, there had been a multiplication of FM radio, satellite television and local cable TV operators, which offered a much wider sounding board to political and social phenomena, such as the one where the lawyers’ movement played such a central role. This effective sounding board eventually saw the process to restore democracy and judicial independence all the way through until the 18th February 2008 elections.
At that defining moment, one could conclude that the lawyers’ movement and its travelling companion, the media, had reached the end of an intensive and exciting journey through Pakistan’s political misfortunes. In fact, after the elections, the two slowly but steadily fell apart, as structural fissures started to appear in their relationship and within the media front. An increasing number of media players began to look at the movement as a composite kaleidoscope of actors battling for power, while others stayed focused to its original transforming mission. In the end, the basic reality that differences in opinion started to surface in the media discourse was sufficient to mostly destroy the recently held emanation of moral unassailability that the development had appreciated. The Media kept on support this movement until Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was reinstated as CJ in the newly elected Zardari led government (Mezzera, M., & Sial, S. 2010).
Image is available at PDF file
In the above question the respondents were given closed ended replies and they had to tell whether or not they know the person, institution or object shown in the picture. Majority of the respondents replied that they can recognize the pictures.
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The above question was also given with closed ended reply. It has been observed that majority of the respondents came to know about the personalities, institution and object through Television.
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The 3rd question was also limited with closed ended replies. According to the observation from this question majority of the respondents have known about the personality, institution and object through television.
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The final question was also limited with the close ended replies (Yes/No). Majority of the respondents don’t gather data or research about the topics and they rely on the information provided by the television.
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Another question was asked from same sample that which out of mentioned medium play a vital role in perception building; (i) News Paper (ii) Radio (iii) Magazine (iv) Television (v) Internet. 60% of the respondents think that television plays a vital role in perception building of society.
Media especially since the inception of private TV channels have unearthed many national, international, regional, political, religious and issues of a common man. In contrast, before millennium when there was monopoly of one state own channel, the issues were brought on surface under the influence or in the interest of regime. This new wave of change with the introduction of private channels in Musharraf’s era gave eye and ear to this nation and created awareness despite illiteracy, poor education system and poverty.
The role of media in our society has been under the discussion of common men, experts, politicians and people belong to other spheres of life. The study reveals that in Pakistan the source of information for majority of the population is television. They are heavily dependent on this medium for daily updates, entertainment, debates on social and other issues. This is the society where 85% of population has never been to any library and majority of these people believe that they never had any reason to go to library. This is the society where reading habit have been declining with every passing year. Other venues of infotainment like local cinema is not contributing to address issues and creating awareness. In fact in last one decade, local cinema has seen its worst period. The scope of performing arts has been limited to a certain strata of the society. The study explores that people use the information disseminated by television for various purposes. Now it has become their life style to check the breaking news and law and order situation of their cities before leaving for office and specially going out with their families.
Further the study reveals that electronic media is also contributing in building and shaping public opinion. Before the inception of private TV channels, issues were not effectively highlighted and discussed due to influence of government. These TV channels not only highlighted the issues but also initiated the debate on issues which were intentionally neglected or people used to avoid discussions. This closed society is now ready to open up and discuss the untouched issues. There was a time when religious debates was confined and did not address the sectarian differences since it was a sensitive issue. The issue is still sensitive but electronic media discussed these differences to find commonality among them with the objective to create harmony among people. The success stories of these religious programs show the appreciation from people and a sign of tolerance to listen to these debates. Study reveals that people believe that electronic media is prompt, agile and quick to respond. They believe that it is a tool of accountability for those who have never been accountable before. Electronic media disclosed the wrong doing of politicians, bureaucrats and government. Media showed their real faces, highlighted corruption and helped the general masses in opinion making.
Further in the study it was also revealed that people believe that somehow electronic media is agenda driven. Today’s audience is much more mature than of 10 years back. Now their choices are wide open as they have world on one click. Today’s audience has not only multiple options but also have comparison of channels of same genre. They have more than 15 news channels, more than 20 entertainment channels and so on. This liberty of choice and comparison help them to understand the issues being enforced by media. The media hype may be driven by the analysis of an issue being placed in headlines of the news channels or air time being given to that particular issue. In our study, on some issues like Malala case, people believed that it was given media hype. They believed that there could be hidden agenda behind this unnecessary media hype.
In the study people shared that they are more informed on many issues than ever before. Electronic media provides them accurate, timely and balanced information with the flavor of debate. It helps them to understand the issues of national interest. The complex and difficult political process is somewhat understandable for them. Interestingly, female respondents also shared their political understanding. They have fair idea how lawyers movement played role in shaping up the political scenario of Pakistan. Similarly on other social issues like women rights people are more aware. Issue which were not allowed in past to discuss are now in heads of viewers, have platform to discuss and voice is more clear. In past rape victims could not get justice just because these incidents were not brought on surface. Honor killing cases were dumped under influence of powerful. We have example of Hudood ordinance, which not only highlighted but bill was passed in assembly due to role of media.
Study shows that people consider electronic media as social reformer. Though there is huge debate on it and also a high degree of criticism. Many believe that media opened the culture of debate and right to ask question, raise the voice and freedom of expression. There is another school of thought, believes that media is promoting liberalism in name of modernization. Whether the contribution is ‘good’ or ‘bad’, people agreed on impact of electronic media in their thought process.
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