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The Emergence of Social Media & the Political Crisis in Pakistan
Unformatted Document Text:  Social media & political crisis in Pakistan 12 RQ2: Did YouTube videos, uploaded during the political crisis in Pakistan, provide people an avenue to become politically engaged? Method For this paper, the imposition of a state of emergency in Pakistan in 2007 was used as a case study when the military dictator had blocked the transmission of the private television channels so as to suppress the increasing media criticism of his policies. A qualitative method of visual analysis and textual discourse analysis (Hall, 1980; Rose, 2001) was used to analyze the selected YouTube videos of political protests against the military regime in November 2007. The “interpretive context” (Tonkiss, 1998) of textual analysis helped in analyzing the viewers’ comments in response to the selected videos. According to Frank Tonkiss, “[t]he term interpretive context refers to the social setting in which a particular discourse is located” (p. 249). Visual and textual discourse analysis is “therefore more likely to ‘go beyond’ the text [and visuals] than are ethnomethodological approaches” (p. 249). The analysis was used to contextualize the uploaded YouTube videos and the text (comments on those videos) in the social settings of Pakistani media. The researcher looked at the videos uploaded during November 3, 2007 to December 15, 2007. The timeframe was selected because it corresponds to the period of a state of emergency imposed by President Musharraf, during which broadcast media were banned. Journalists were not allowed to cover and report any political protest or riot against the military regime during this period. YouTube was chosen for the discourse analysis because it was widely used during the political crisis. Also, YouTube videos are relatively easy to access and do not involve human

Authors: Arif, Rauf.
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Social media & political crisis in Pakistan 12
RQ2: Did YouTube videos, uploaded during the political crisis in Pakistan, provide people an 
avenue to become politically engaged? 
Method
For this paper, the imposition of a state of emergency in Pakistan in 2007 was used as a 
case study when the military dictator had blocked the transmission of the private  television 
channels so as to suppress the increasing media criticism of his policies.
A qualitative method of visual analysis and textual discourse analysis (Hall, 1980; Rose, 
2001) was used to analyze the selected YouTube videos of political protests against the military 
regime in November 2007. The “interpretive context” (Tonkiss, 1998) of textual analysis helped 
in analyzing  the viewers’ comments in response to the selected videos. According to Frank 
Tonkiss,   “[t]he   term   interpretive   context   refers   to   the   social   setting   in   which   a   particular 
discourse is located” (p. 249). Visual and textual discourse analysis is “therefore more likely to 
‘go  beyond’  the   text   [and  visuals]  than   are  ethnomethodological  approaches”  (p.  249).  The 
analysis was used to contextualize the uploaded YouTube videos and the text (comments on 
those videos) in the social settings of Pakistani media. 
The researcher looked at the videos uploaded during November 3, 2007 to December 15, 
2007. The timeframe was selected because it corresponds to the period of a state of emergency 
imposed by President Musharraf, during which broadcast media were banned. Journalists were 
not allowed to cover and report any political protest or riot against the military regime during this 
period. 
YouTube was chosen for the discourse analysis because it was widely used during the 
political crisis. Also, YouTube videos are relatively easy to access and do not involve human 


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