Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism

ISSN: 2165-7912

Open Access

Image of President Asif Ali Zardari as Portrayed by Daily Dawn and News: A Discourse Analysis of Editorials


Muhammad Riaz Raza and Muhammad Wasim Akbar

The main objective of this research study is to investigate as to how the image of President Zardari is being presented in the print media discourses. The media in Pakistan is enjoying a free environment after a long martial law of President musharraf. The Jang group is a leading group having media outlets in the field of print as well as in electronic. The Jang group, in general, has a biased perception and involved in an anti government media campaign since the government took over in 2008. Since the Pakistani media has been enjoying a powerful status as a main stake holder to make or to topple down any government. Pressure groups mend and mould the media agenda if it is contrary to their news agenda through some media groups. Further this study should be analyzed in the context of the interests of some big powers which influence and shape news agenda of poor countries and specially after 9/11 there has been a paradigm shift in the world’s media. In this context the media coverage in Pakistan shows that the President Zardari has portrayed negatively in most of the print media outlets of Jang group. Most of the editorials in leading newspapers portrayed President Zardari as corrupt, untrustworthy, disloyal, criminal and dishonest by undermining his political status and political achievements. This paper discusses the difference of portrayal of his image in two leading English language newspapers of different groups - The News and Dawn. The News belongs to Jang group while The Dawn owned by Herald publications Ltd. The researcher explores the trend by using framing and priming theories. Editorials of these two Pakistani newspapers published from Nov, 2009 to Jan 2010 were selected. Altogether, 180 editorials were read out from these two newspapers, 37 editorials from The News and 26 editorials from The Dawn were found relevant to the issue of NRO with special reference to Mr. Zardari. The paper concludes that The News constructs a biased and negative image of President Zardari by its speculative language, tone and representation while writing on NRO in the editorial discourses Dawn reflects the same issue in neutral and balanced way.


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