Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism

ISSN: 2165-7912

Open Access

A Critical Study of how the Taliban Capitalize on Electronic Media Sensationalism in Pakistan


Syed Adnan Haider

The terrorist attacks of 9/11 in the USA jolted the world. Groups like Al-Qaeda and the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) emerged as strong organizations with supporters from various countries of the world. America in an attempt to crackdown on Al-Qaeda leaders began a war in Afghanistan and later also carried out attacks in various other Middle Eastern states. Whether or not the US achieved its war goals, the Taliban on the other hand did succeed in winning the support of a big number of people, especially by capitalizing on media’s sensational reporting. The Taliban used media as one of the crucial tools and through it propagated their agenda. The strategy they adopted was to carry out terrorist attack and then accept the responsibility on media by releasing stance of their leaders to extend the scope of their terror by reaching out maximum people. Pakistan assumed the role of a front-line state in the war on terrorism but witnessed huge losses in terms of human causalities, infrastructure damage and economic recession from 2007 to 2014. However, there was one industry that saw boom in the country, the media. The war on terrorism and media’s mushroom growth took place side by side and apparently it seemed that media deliberately served the TTP by glorifying their activities, screening interviews of their leaders and creating sensationalism on terrorists’ incidents. By giving undue coverage to the TTP in the name of “freedom of expression”, the electronic media like in a thug of war for rating violated journalism ethics. This study posits that electronic media promoted pack journalism in Pakistan and every channel presented incidents of terrorism as breaking news for financial profit. They made it difficult for the government and security forces of a nuclear state to curb the menace of terrorism in the presence of an outspoken media industry


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