Role of Media in Securitisation of Terrorism: A Case Study of Pakistan

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Abstract

This paper explains the media process in reporting political communications in the securitisation dialogue. Securitisation is the process of declaring an issue a security challenge and requires an urgent and existential cause which is too important to be put to a normal political process and merits to be dealt decisively by the top leaders on priority basis. This paper also explores media agenda and framing practices along with their ensuing effects on the process of securitisation of terrorism in Pakistan. Media has always been inclined to highlight the sellable story line, using the propaganda and interests of dominant groups in the society. Defining the relevance of media in securitisation process, this paper takes the Army Public School (APS) attack in Peshawar in 2014 as a watershed event to examine the impact on media and evaluates its contribution to securitising terrorism as a threat to the country. Two influential newspapers, Dawn and Jang were examined through content and discourse analysis. A comparison of media framing and agenda setting, before and after the APS attack, highlights the level of securitisation of terrorism in the country and the role media plays in this process.

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