LANGUAGE AND PRINT MEDIA: AN ANALYSIS OF RAPE REPORTING IN DAILY NEWSPAPERS IN PAKISTAN

Faiza Saleem, Rabia Mahmood, Dr. Har Bakhsh Makhijani, Dr. Jamshed Adil Halepoto

Abstract


The present study explores how language used in the newspapers reflects and promotes certain patriarchal notions about sex crimes and how the victims are directly or indirectly stigmatized through it. It also looks at legal aspects of the rape cases and the difficulties faced by the victims in order to get justice. The main source of knowing about the rape cases is the print media. Newspapers not only present the actual reporting of the incident but also serve as medium of reflecting and reinforcing cultural norms and beliefs about the specific cases. In this way these are more influential in forming and shaping certain stereotypical beliefs about the particular aspects. It is also a fact that the press systematically reports only selected cases for all over the country and the main motive of the reporting is mostly sensationalizing and glamorizing. Using qualitative and quantitative paradigms of research, the textual analysis of the news reports taken from four Daily newspapers, one English and three Urdu, is carried out during the period of three months in Multan, Pakistan. The results of the study show that language used in reporting such cases, shapes and reflects ideology (ies) that totally creates unfavorable conditions for the rape victims in the society. There are very rare cases which are reported again with the further details and proceedings in the case. Daily we find an average of two to three rape cases in papers and the next day new events take place of the old and are forgotten.

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The Women - Annual Research Journal of Gender Studies is published annually by the Institute of Gender Studies, University of Sindh, Jamshoro, Pakistan.