PML-N getting more airtime representation in talk shows:Gallup Survey

By Sarmad Ali

Islamabad (Pak Destiny) In the 8 Talk Shows analyzed during January 2015, ‘Politics’ was the main topic under discussion while majority of the guests were politicians (64%) and PML-N was the political party with the most airtime representation, says Gallup Survey.
According to a monthly Research Study conducted by Gallup Pakistan Media Research Consultancy, in the talk shows analyzed ‘Politics’ was the main topic under discussion (36%), while majority of the guests were politicians (64%) and PML-N was the political party with the most airtime representation (30%). The duration of the analysis is January 2015.
Content analyses of 8 popular current events talk shows (Off the Record; Capital Talk; Meray Mutabiq; Sawal Yeh Hai; News Eye; Aapas Ki Baat; Nadeem Malik Live and Tonight with Jasmeen) consisting of a total of 119 episodes aired on different cable television networks was conducted for January 2015. The topics discussed on these shows were distilled into 7 broad categories: ‘Economy’, ‘Governance’, ‘Law’, ‘Politics’, ‘Media’, ‘Security’ and ‘Miscellaneous’. Issues that were discussed less frequently, for example sports and socio-cultural subjects, have been included in the ‘Miscellaneous’ category.
On average 3 guests appeared per episode for each show. While some guests were frequently invited on different talk shows, overall there were 120 unique guests out of a total of 354 guests in the 119 episodes analyzed. Furthermore, majority of the guests were Politicians (64%), followed by Academics including professors, defense analysts and senior analysts at 21%. Judiciary members and Media personnel (anchors, experts, journalists) both took the next spot at 6% each, while 3% of the guests invited were from miscellaneous occupational categories such as art, cricket, civil society and bureaucracy.
Maximum representation amongst Political Parties was from Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) at 30%, followed by Pakistan People’s Party at 23%. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) had 19% share of the representation on talk shows during January. Members of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) had 8% share of the representation while JUI- F secured 4% participation. Jamaat- e- Islami, Pakistan Muslim League (Q) and Awami National Party (ANP) all had 3% airtime individually.
Politics was yet again the most dominant topic of discussion in talk shows during January, consuming 36% of the discussion in talk show during this month. The second most popular topic of discussion was ‘Security’ at 24%, followed by ‘Law’ taking up 16% of the total airtime. 13% of discussion time in talk shows was given to ‘Economy’ while 5% was devoted to ‘Miscellaneous’ issues. ‘Media’ took 4% chunk of total discussions while ‘Governance’ was the least discussed topic at 2%.
The most frequently discussed topic falling under the umbrella of Politics was ‘Politics of PML-N’ including topics such as incompetence of the current government and resignation of Governor Punjab (19%). Miscellaneous issues such as political tension between PPP and MQM and strikes in Sindh Assembly took 18% of time under political issues. ‘Rigging in Elections’ was discussed 13% while ‘President Obama’s Visit to India’ was discussed 11% of the time. 10% of the airtime within the category of Politics was spent discussing ‘MQM Worker’s Killings and Consequent Protests’.
Politics was followed by Security as the second most frequently discussed topic in talk shows during January. ‘General Security Concerns’ and ‘Army Chief’s Strategy to Eliminate Terrorism’ each occupied 17% of the time on talk shows. 15% of airtime was devoted to discuss ‘Banning of Madrassas and Jamat-ud- Dawa’ while ‘Foreign Involvement in Terrorism’, ‘Karachi Operation’ and ‘Imran Khan visit to APS Peshawar’ were each given 12% of discussion time. Lastly, 5% time was dedicated to ‘Operation Zarb- e- Azab’, ‘Anti- terrosim Policy’ and ‘Miscellaneous’ security-related topics each.
Issues pertaining to Law were the third most discussed category. Among the sub-topics, 42% time was taken by ‘21st Constitutional Amendment’. This was followed by ‘Election 2013 Judicial Commission’ at 16%. 14% of the time was consumed discussing ‘Opposition to Military Courts from Lawyers and Political Parties’. ‘Blasphemy Law’ and ‘Miscellaneous’ issues had 9% share each while ‘Musharraf Treason Case’ and ‘Aitezaz Ahsan’s White Paper on NA-124 Rigging Allegations’ each had 5% of total air- time within the Security category.
While discussions in talk shows during January 2015 were once again focused on Political issues, there was a significant increase in emphasis on discourse revolving around Security situation of Pakistan. It seems that the Peshawar APS Tragedy has awakened the media to the growing predicament of terrorism in the country and there is great interest in evaluating the measures being taken to address this issue. Very interestingly, themes pertaining to Economy also had a substantial share in discussions this month, owing to the global petrol crisis and its fallout on the economy.
Another interesting observation in the January analysis of talk shows, and one that is recurrent over the past months was that the gender- wise representation of guests is very disproportionate. In January only, 95% of the guests invited were males while only 5% were females.
PML-N, PTI and PPP were once again the three parties with the highest representation in talk shows during January, with the governing party taking the top spot (30%) yet again. This is a continuation of the same trend observed in prior months where the three political parties with the biggest vote banks are given more air-time compared to various regional, ethnic or religious parties.
This study is part of a continuum and hence a comparison of current trends with past ones is helpful in establishing changing developments. A topic-wise comparison between the November 2014, December 2014, and January 2015 Analysis reveals that although political issues continued to dominate the media landscape in Pakistan, this category saw a gradual decline over the past 3 months. The most striking change in trends was the increase in discussions about Security situation in Pakistan from 8% in November to 24% in January. Discussions on Law related topics have also increased from 6% to 16% and this may be attributed to increased debate on the formation of
The study was released by Gilani Foundation and carried out by Gallup Pakistan, the Pakistani affiliate of Gallup International. The duration of the analysis is January 2015. This data was obtained after reviewing over 68 hours of video, spread over 8 talk shows (Off the Record; Capital Talk; Meray Mutabiq; Sawal Yeh Hai; News Eye; Aapas Ki Baat; Nadeem Malik Live and Tonight with Jasmeen) and 119 episodes. Pak Destiny

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