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The Emergence of Social Media & the Political Crisis in Pakistan
Unformatted Document Text:  Social media & political crisis in Pakistan 7 The grounded theory for this study is the resistant role of Pakistani media throughout its history, which finds its roots in the normative theories of the media (Christians, Glasser, McQuail, Nordenstreng, & White, 2009). The normative approach encompasses non-democratic theories (authoritarian, totalitarian, Marxist-Leninist), and democratic and developmental theories (libertarian, social responsibility, democratic elite, democratic participatory, public sphere, and postmodern) to help explain the role of media in different societies (Baker, 2002; Habermas, 1989; Hallin & Mancini, 2004; McQuail, 1983, 2005; Siebert, Peterson, & Schramm, 1956; Yin, 2008). Since the political system in Pakistan is going through a transition from a military regime to a democratic system, the role of Pakistani journalism is also transforming. These complex changes in the media and political system in the country cannot be explained by using a single theory of journalism. Because of its ability to entail and explain different political and press systems, the normative approach helps in understanding the radical role of Pakistani journalists during the hostile political environment. It also helps explain how the Internet, as a public sphere (Habermas, 1989), might “facilitate discussion that promotes a democratic exchange of ideas and opinions” (Papacharissi, 2002, p. 11) that may result in civic engagement and social capital (Dewey, 1954; Putnam, 2001, c2000). The four theories of the press proposed in the 1950s—the authoritarian, libertarian, social responsibility, and Soviet Communist concepts of what the press should be and do (Siebert et al., 1956)—continued to dominate the debate on the world’s press and governmental systems until the late 20th century. Developed by the Western scholars, the classic model of the four theories of the press lacked the ability to explain the press systems in developing democracies like Pakistan (Yin, 2008).

Authors: Arif, Rauf.
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Social media & political crisis in Pakistan 7
The grounded theory for this study is the resistant role of Pakistani media throughout its 
history,   which   finds   its   roots   in   the   normative   theories   of   the   media   (Christians,   Glasser, 
McQuail, Nordenstreng, & White, 2009). The normative approach encompasses non-democratic 
theories   (authoritarian,   totalitarian,   Marxist-Leninist),   and   democratic   and   developmental 
theories   (libertarian,   social   responsibility,   democratic   elite,   democratic   participatory,   public 
sphere, and postmodern) to help explain the role of media in different societies (Baker, 2002; 
Habermas, 1989; Hallin & Mancini, 2004; McQuail, 1983, 2005; Siebert, Peterson, & Schramm, 
1956; Yin, 2008).
Since the political system in Pakistan is going through a transition from a military regime 
to a democratic system, the role of Pakistani journalism is also transforming. These complex 
changes in the media and political system in the country cannot be explained by using a single 
theory of journalism. Because of its ability to entail and explain different political and press 
systems, the normative approach helps in understanding the radical role of Pakistani journalists 
during the hostile political environment. It also helps explain how the Internet, as a public sphere 
(Habermas, 1989), might “facilitate discussion that promotes a democratic exchange of ideas and 
opinions” (Papacharissi, 2002, p. 11) that may result in civic engagement and social capital 
(Dewey, 1954; Putnam, 2001, c2000). 
The four theories of the press proposed in the 1950s—the authoritarian, libertarian, social 
responsibility, and Soviet Communist concepts of what the press should be and do (Siebert et al., 
1956)—continued to dominate the debate on the world’s press and governmental systems until 
the late 20th century. Developed by the Western scholars, the classic model of the four theories 
of  the  press  lacked   the  ability  to  explain  the  press systems   in  developing  democracies  like 
Pakistan (Yin, 2008).

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