THE COVERAGE OF KASHMIR AND YEMEN CONFLICTS IN THE CONTEXT OF POLICY CERTAINTY AND PREVAILING POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT: CONTENT ANALYSIS OF NAWA-I-WAQT AND EXPRESS
This article examines the relationship between Urdu press and policy issues in Pakistan, where, apart from vibrant electronic media, the press has a lot of importance in shaping public opinions about foreign policy related issues. Analyzing the diversified approaches of press towards [foreign] policy issues, this study is theoretically conducted in the context of elites’ debate over policy issues as thoroughly explained in literature on Indexing theory (Bennett,1990). Coupled with the cover assumptions of Pier Robinson’s Policy-media interaction model (2000), the study evaluates the nature of reporting of the two violent issues including Kashmir conflict (2016), after killing of digitally connected freedom fighterBurhan Wani, and the Yemen conflict (2015) in selected newspapers i.e. Nawa-iWaqt and Express. The findings, mainly, suggest that oppositional or critical coverage was triggered at the time when government was lacking a clear policy line or it [government] failed to dominate the policy debate over an issue as in the case of Yemen conflict. Hence, reporting this issue, the selected newspapers criticized Pakistan’s uncertain policy line, mainly in the context of government’s delayed decision to join coalition, which was formed to fight with terrorism, and it [the military coalition] was leading by Saudi Arabia. Unlike the Yemen conflict, the findings that were in line with the core assumptions of Robinson’s model suggest that Pakistani media was tended more towards supportive coverage in case of politically controlled policy issue of Kashmir, which was highly framed in line with government’s guidelines, and decisions.