Portrayal of Blasphemy incidents in Pakistani Print media: A comparative Mix method analysis of Urdu and English Newspapers
Keywords:Blasphemy, Constitution of Pakistan, print media, Islamic laws, minorities
This paper examines the role of Pakistani print media in reporting incidents of or related to blasphemy. By studying the coverage offered by two leading newspapers Dawn and Jang, in the cases of Asia Bibi, Salman Taseer, Shahbaz Bhatti, Mashal Khan, and Zahid Hamid, the research aims to explore the use of framing as means to escalate, de-escalate, create awareness or intensify biases about a situation, case or incident. Coverage of sensitive matters like blasphemy can provoke religious and political divides resulting in considerable damage to state and public, hence it must be reported with utmost consideration of pluralist views. we used Mix method qualitative and quantitative analysis. The study adopts the chi-square statistical technique for hypothesis testing. Media’s duty is to provide truthful, unbiased, detailed and timely information on matters important for the masses, instead of propagating a certain opinion through selective curation.Unfortunately, Pakistani media have been accused time and again of exercising this responsibility with more focus on its own agendas rather than the consequences of its influence. This paper aims to discover if print media has in any way contributed to this trend of misleading or polarizing audiences during times of conflict.