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Title of Thesis

The Relationship between the Public and Print Media Agendas on National Issues in Pakistan (A Study of the Agenda Setting Role of Print Media in Pakistan)

Author (s)
Saqib Riaz
Institute/University/Department Details
Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad
Mass Communication
Number of Pages
Keywords (Extracted from title, table of contents and abstract of thesis)
media agenda, print media


We are living in a media-driven world where we all are influenced by the media messages. Media play an important role in setting the agenda of the public. The agenda setting role of media has been recognized world wide and a number of research studies have been conducted all over the world to investigate this role of media. Perhaps this study is the first ever research to investigate the agenda setting role of media in Pakistan. This research project was based on the content analysis as well as survey research. Media agenda was measured through content analysis of the two major national newspapers of the country. The daily Dawn and the daily Jang were selected for the content analysis because the earlier one is the largest widely circulated English newspaper and the later one is the largest widely circulated Urdu newspaper of the country. Six most important issues were identified for the content analysis including the issues of terrorism, Indo-Pak relations, energy crisis, food crisis, judiciary crisis and Lal Masjid (red mosque issue). These issues were selected because of their importance and vast coverage in media throughout the study period of one year. The public agenda about these issues was measured through the survey research. A comprehensive questionnaire was got filled by the readers of the both newspapers separately. The ranking order of the issues along with their most important source of information about the issue was measured. The results of the survey research (public agenda) were then compared with the findings of the content analysis (media agenda). According to the results, it was found that the agenda setting theory worked except the issues of the food and energy crises. These two issues got more importance in the public agenda than the media agenda because of the personal suffering of the audience members because the respondents themselves were facing the problems of the food shortage and power cut-off. It means that the personal problems of the public are not dependent on media agenda to become the public agenda. However, for the remaining issues of the study, there was strong relationship between the media and the public agenda. Another finding of this study was that the both newspapers had a different set of news agenda except the issue of the food crisis which got fourth position in the frequency as well as length wise measurement of the both newspapers. It was found that the readers of the both newspapers followed the agenda of the newspaper which they read (except the issues of the food and energy crises). Most of the respondents stated print media as the most important source of information which strengthens the findings of this study that formulation of the public opinion was mainly a result of print media agenda (except the two issues). The public opinion about the issues of the study has been found having a good relationship with the slant and framing of the issues in these newspapers except the issues of the food and energy crises where the public opinion was found against the media slant. The media slant and framing about these two issues was in favor of the government but the maximum public opinion was found against the government regarding these issues. It means that media could not alter the public opinion about the issues of individuals’ personal problems and sufferings.




709 KB

S. No. Chapter Title of the Chapters Page Size (KB)
1 1 Introduction 1
165 KB
2 2 Literature Review 53

111 KB


3 3 Research Methodology 87

51 KB

4 4 Data Analysis 102
209 KB




121 KB

5 5 Results, Discussion, Conclusion and Recommendations 154
6 6 Bibliography 186


64 KB


27 KB


7 7 Appendices 204