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The Emergence of Social Media & the Political Crisis in Pakistan
Unformatted Document Text:  Social media & political crisis in Pakistan 20 use of YouTube as an alternate media was based on the researcher’s personal observation while he worked as a reporter during the judicial crisis in early 2007 in Pakistan. The study could not find any evidence whether the videos were from the journalists. However, the findings of the study supported the claim about the journalistic role of YouTube videos during the time of political crisis in Pakistan. Two questions that guided the study’s findings were: how did Pakistani journalists use YouTube to keep the public informed during the political crisis in Pakistan? And did YouTube videos, uploaded during the political crisis in Pakistan, provide people an avenue to become politically engaged? Visual discourse analysis of the selected videos was used to answer the first question. The textual analysis of online comments to the selected YouTube videos helped answer the second question. The study’s findings support the basic assumption that during the time of political crisis or in a hostile environment, the Internet in general, and social media in particular, have the ability to serve as an alternate media (Rohlinger & Brown, 2009). In turn, the online dissemination and consumption of news provide the people an opportunity to engage politically for democratic purposes (Rohlinger & Brown, 2009; Wojcieszak & Mutz, 2009). The findings also imply that the emergence of social media in Pakistan is paving the way for freedom of expression in the country. Compared to the past, Pakistani journalists are relatively free and more secure while keeping the public informed via the Internet. At the same time, social networking sites are not only contributing to the political engagement of the public, but people also have more freedom to express their opinions on major political issues directly. The visual analysis and the textual analysis of the selected YouTube videos and the online comments respectively found a two-level discourse: responses to the videos and a

Authors: Arif, Rauf.
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Social media & political crisis in Pakistan 20
use of YouTube as an alternate media was based on the researcher’s personal observation while 
he worked as a reporter during the judicial crisis in early 2007 in Pakistan. The study could not 
find any evidence whether the videos were from the journalists. However, the findings of the 
study supported the claim about the journalistic role of YouTube videos during the time of 
political crisis in Pakistan.    
Two questions that guided the study’s findings were: how did Pakistani journalists use 
YouTube to keep the public informed during the political crisis in Pakistan? And did YouTube 
videos, uploaded during the political crisis in Pakistan, provide people an avenue to become 
politically engaged? Visual discourse analysis of the selected videos was used to answer the first 
question. The textual analysis of online comments to the selected YouTube videos helped answer 
the second question. The study’s findings support the basic assumption that during the time of 
political crisis or in a hostile environment, the Internet in general, and social media in particular, 
have the ability to serve as an alternate media (Rohlinger & Brown, 2009). In turn, the online 
dissemination and consumption of news provide the people an opportunity to engage politically 
for democratic purposes (Rohlinger & Brown, 2009; Wojcieszak & Mutz, 2009). 
The findings also imply that the emergence of social media in Pakistan is paving the way 
for   freedom   of   expression   in   the   country.   Compared   to   the   past,   Pakistani   journalists   are 
relatively free and more secure while keeping the public informed via the Internet. At the same 
time, social networking sites are not only contributing to the political engagement of the public, 
but people also have more freedom to express their opinions on major political issues directly.  
The visual analysis  and the textual  analysis  of the selected YouTube videos and the 
online   comments   respectively   found   a   two-level   discourse:   responses   to   the   videos   and   a 


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