REVISITING THE INDEXING THEORY IN THE CONTEXT OF AFGHANISTAN CRISIS: COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE CROSS-NATIONAL MEDIA’S COVERAGE
This article analyzes the theoretical perspectives about media and government relationship, whereas the study, mainly, revisits the application of ‘indexing theory’ in the context of media’s coverage on the issue of Afghanistan. For the purpose, the researchers have selected four newspapers, one each from Pakistan, the United States [US], the United Kingdom [UK} and India. Hence, the paper attempts to evaluate the crossnational media coverage on the issue of Afghanistan in the context of policy that determines the soft or otherwise critical relationship between media and government. The results, which are mixed in their nature, suggest that indexing theory is, comparatively, more applicable in this study. The elites’ differences on the issue of the US forces’ withdrawal from Afghanistan, coupled with the state of uncertainty over the issue activated oppositional voices in the United States, hence the US newspaper i.e. the New York Times and, even, the UK newspaper- the Guardian, were found more critical to the government than daily Dawn and the Hindu, who highlighted the issue of Afghanistan more in the context of ‘proximity’ extended support to their respective governments- Pakistan and India respectively.