Vol. 4 No. 3 (2021): Pakistan Journal of International Affairs

Media Framing of US Drone Policy in the National Press of Pakistan

Published 2021-09-27


United States drone policy has been fiercely debated both in the mediated and popular discourse in Pakistan. Despite the prevalence of the academic literature on drones, little is known hitherto how the elite- oriented press framed the US drone attacks in Pakistan. To that end this study informed by the framing paradigm, qualitatively analyzed the editorial genres of national press of Pakistan. The analysis identified four major frames or ‘interpretive packages’ the press used to construct the discourse on US drones namely sovereignty violation frame, collateral damage frame, connivance frame, and blowback frame. The findings suggest that drone strikes in Pakistan are represented unfavorably with an overall negative tone toward the drone strikes and the United States and its policies in the region. The discussion elaborates on the possible factors which contributed for the emergence of new frames in the context of Pakistani media