Representation of Issues of Tribal Districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Mashaal Radio, Radio Pakistan and Deewa Radio.
This research study aims to investigate the issues of tribal districts of Pakistan in the three leading radio stations of Pakistan, including two foreign radio stations – Mashaal Radio and Deewa Radio, and one national broadcaster of Pakistan (Radio Pakistan). The fundamental research question answered in the study is: How the three selected radio stations covered the issues of tribal districts of Pakistan in their news bulletins? This fundamental research question has been supplemented with some additional research questions. The basic aim is to understand what issues of the tribal districts were emphasized by these three selected radio stations and what was ignored or less emphasized. The news bulletins of the three selected radio stations were studied from the 20th of December 2017 to the 20th of January 2018. The researcher relied on content analysis to answer all the outstanding research questions of this research study. It is significant to mention that the two selected international broadcasters were banned/ suspended by the Pakistani government for propagating anti-Pakistan narratives to their listeners in the tribal districts and Afghanistan. The findings, based on the analysis of 657 news stories and informed by the Framing theory, reveal that all three selected radio stations failed to cover the issues of tribal districts independently and impartially as they favoured their respective governments in the coverage and thus deprived the people of Tribal districts and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa of a rational and holistic debate surrounding their problems. Furthermore, the findings also support that Mashaal Radio was critical of the Pakistani government in their coverage - compared to Deewa Radio which tried to keep the balance.