An analysis of Urdu and English editorial coverage of the 2007 emergency from Pakistani newspapers
Thesis (M.A.)--Georgetown University, 2008.; Includes bibliographical references. This thesis is a case study of Urdu and English Pakistani newspapers during the 2007 Emergency in Pakistan. Specifically, it looks at editorial discussion of former president Pervez Musharraf and his government. The 2007 Emergency marked one of the most difficult political periods of Musharraf's nine-year tenure. In an effort to maintain both his positions as President and Chief of Army Staff, Musharraf suspended the constitution on November 3, 2007 and declared a State of Emergency. The Emergency affected several spheres of Pakistani society, including the media. To quell dissension, Musharraf implemented a law which held that TV stations and newspapers could not broadcast or publish material that defamed the government or army.; Through studying editorials, this thesis seeks to understand to what degree newspapers actually heeded the new media law. To analyze the editorials, I use an approach within sociolinguistics called Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). CDA posits that text and context mirror each other. A society's socio-economics, political hierarchy, religion, values, and ideology will be apparent in the text through grammar, tone, lexicon, and style. Given the context of the Emergency, I wanted to understand how government attempts to censor would manifest in the text.; There are two questions that drive this research: How and to what degree do print media criticize the government; and is there a noticeable difference of opinion between Urdu and English newspapers? Previously, print media in Pakistan was heavily under state control because of its dependency on government funding. As such, editorial content was favorable of the government. Now, however, a number of factors, including globalization, market liberalization, journalistic professionalism, and a weak government have undermined the print media's dependency on the government. These factors have also altered the English-Urdu divide. Historically, the English-Urdu divide paralleled an ideological divide: English papers were left of center in their opinions, while Urdu papers tended towards socio-political conservatism.; In order to understand the nexus between print, government, and language, I examine the editorials of four Pakistani newspapers, two in Urdu and two in English. The four papers selected are Jang, Nawa-i-Waqt, Dawn, and Daily Times. The editorials were collected daily from the newspapers' websites from November 3 to December 15, 2007, the span of the Emergency. CDA is applied to the editorials, using a sub-approach called framing. Using framing, editorials are spliced into three categories: Definitions, Evaluations, and Recommendations. These three categories correlate to three functions in an editorial. The Definitions summarize an event; the Evaluations explain the background that lead up to the event; and the Recommendations provide advice to governing authorities on how to rectify a situation. Next, I look for the discursive strategies that dominate each category - such as lexicon, use of quotations, positioning, style, tone, etc. I then interpret these dominant strategies to understand what the print media is saying about the government, whether or not they openly critical, and what these strategies revealed about the government-press-language relationship in Pakistan.
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