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Research Methodology: Impact of US Press on Pakistan

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Media
Wordcount: 2362 words Published: 16th Oct 2017

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Qualitative research is exploratory, and it is used when we don’t know what to suppose, to describe the problem or develop a slant to the problem. It’s also used to go deeper into issues of interest and explore tones related to the problem at hand. Common data collection methods used in qualitative research is focus groups, in-depth interviews, continuous observation, bulletin boards, and ethnographic contribution/observation.

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Qualitative methods that pronounce the properties of an event associated to the creator, or by using the expressive interpretations of ironic experience. Qualitative researchers, through the participants ‘ own reference frame social phenomenon is dedicated to considerate and investigation of how the world experience. Qualitative methods is a basic feature of human communication language will persist and as close as possible to the interpretation and understanding of a key in the map. Common qualitative methods, participatory action research, interview, observation, and qualitative case study (Evans, 2007).

Quantitative research is conclusive research in its determination as it attempts to measure the problem and understand how predominant it is by looking for projectable results to a larger population. In Quantitative research we collect data through surveys (online, phone, paper), assessments, points of consumption and click-streams.

Quantitative research is systematic empirical study of social phenomena through statistical, numerical data or computational techniques, and mathematical.

The determination of quantitative research is to produce and apply mathematical models, theories and/or assumptions pertaining to phenomena. In quantitative research procedure of measurements necessary because it creates the association among empirical observation and mathematical expression of quantitative relationships. Quantitative data is every data that is in mathematical form such as statistics, percentages, etc. (Lisa, 2008).

In the field of media studies, analysis of framing can be a place where discourse analysis and content analysis, typically by combining qualitative and quantitative methods. (Neuendorf, 2002).

In fact, main purpose of this study is to investigate the US Policy towards Pakistan and India and framing in American newspapers therefore researcher used qualitative as well as quantitative approach to analyze the inclination of US press towards Pakistan and India in the selected newspapers.

For this purpose researcher used content analysis as method of study. Qualitative content analysis is a difficult and critical procedure for examining or evaluating the written material. This means that results covering a wide range of qualities have been attained using the method.Content analysis is a broadly used qualitative research technique. (Potter & Levine-Donnerstein, 1999;Sandelowski, 1995a, Hsiehand Shannon, 2005)

Content Analysis:

Content analysis is a quantitative, systematic, and objective technique for describing the evident content of communications (Berelson, 1952).


This study will examine the inclusion of American press towards Pakistan and India in the US Editorial study, Studied the two leading US Newspapers the New York Times and the Washington Post. The reasons for the selection of these newspapers are the prestigious and leading newspapers of US. It is also said that these newspaper are the medium of expression of the American policy. Both newspapers have a strong professional reputation covering almost all of the important issues of the country as well as the important issues of the world.

The main questions of the Study are:

  • What are the impacts of the American press relevant to the Issues of Pakistan in their inclination towards India?
  • What are the impacts of the American press related to the Issues in Pakistan in their inclination towards Pakistan?

Research Design

Hansen & Cottle (1998) propose that researchers should not only consider which the most appropriate method for their study is but also what combination of research methods might produce a better and deeper understanding of it. The aim should always be to choose those methods, or combination of methods, which can elaborate the most angles and dimensions of what are invariably multidimensional and complex processes and phenomena (Hansen, A. & Cottle, S. 1998). Keeping in view the nature and requirement of this study, content analysis, the study is mainly a content analysis, which observed both qualitatively and quantitatively the Inclusion of American press towards Pakistan and India In some issues in The “New York Times “and the “Washington Post” Last 3 Years

  1. Water issue
  2. Indo-Pak peaceful relations (Trade, Showbiz, Sports)
  3. Kashmir issue
  4. Gas Pipeline
  5. Nuclear power
  6. Terrorism
  7. Others/ Miscellaneous

4. Methodology

Content analysis method is adopted to conduct this study because having limited time or resources researcher only can manage to observe the newspapers, other methods for this study are more time and resources consuming. Content analysis produces a relatively systematic and comprehensive summary of overview of the data set as whole, sometimes incorporating a quantitative element. (Reference)

Content Analysis
Bernard Berelson defined Content Analysis as “a research technique for the objective, systematic, and quantitative description of manifest content of communications” (Berelson, 74).

Content analysis is a method for scientifically exploring written, oral or pictorial communication. It provides a quantitative (numerical) explanation. Many content analyses comprise media – print (newspapers, magazines), video, movies, television, the Internet. Holsti (1969) compromises a comprehensive definition of content analysis as, “any technique for making inferences by objectively and systematically identifying specified characteristics of messages” (p. 14).

Kerlinger (1986) has defined it as; “content analysis is a method of studying and analyzing communication in a systematic, objective, and quantitative manner for the purpose of measuring variables,’ (cited in Wimmer, 1994:163-164)

Content of the two newspapers, New York Times and Washington Post analyzed for this study for three year. (From January 2011 to December 2013) because data availability is possible in these years relevant to my topic that’s why I choice that specific time period. The reasons for the selection of these newspapers are the prestigious newspapers of US and also the medium of expression of the American policy. Both newspapers have a strong professional reputation covering almost all of the important issues of the country as well as the important issues of the world. The content analysis of the editorial is the ……..

Rationale for the Selection of the Two Newspapers”

Ho (1962) defines prestige newspapers by two standards:

(a) Quality of news reports; and

(b) The influence on other media and political elites.

According to this definition of prestige newspapers, The New York Times and The Washington Post are selected for this study both for quality and influence.

According to Izadi (2007), The New York Times, and The Washington Post are deliberated prestige newspapers; and all two are amongst the main media outlets in the United States. He transcripts that these are also leading newspapers regarding the coverage of international events.

1.2. Population and Sampling:


Population is the broad class of units that are to be covered in a hypothesis and it can also be defined as the units to which the findings of a specific study might be generalized (Neuman). Target population is the aggregation of units from which sample is actually selected

Population for this study will be all the editorials published in The New York Times and The Washington Post three year.


“A sampling element is the unit of analysis or a case in a population” (Neuman).

A process of drawing representative elements from the larger population or universe is called sampling. Obvious advantage of sampling is especially savings in time and money. (Cited in Khel, 2000:48)

By using purposive sampling researcher will take only those editorials which are related to the issues of Pakistan mentioned above. The editorials of the New York Times and The Washington Post were rescued from the E-Newspapers. January 2011 to December 2013. Editorials are deliberated the official view of a newspaper. According to Henry and Tator (2002), editorial study verifies to be very important when analyzing the ideological role of news media. The data for this research study include all editorials using the word -Pakistanâ€- in the headline or lead paragraph in the selected newspapers from Jan 2011 to Dec 2013. Each editorial was coded in terms of topic, frame, Slant and length.

Sample Size

In this study sample size mean editorials related to US foreign policy towards Pakistan and India in certain time period for analysis. Researcher selected the time period from January 2011 to December 2013 and selected Newspapers are the New York Times and The Washington Post.

Unit of Analysis

In this study unit of analysis is editorial because newspaper consists on many content. Therefore, researcher selected the particular unit for study. Also broad unit creates the problem for researcher as well as credibility and validity.

Time period

All the editorials of the above mentioned newspapers from January 2011 to December 2013 are used in this study.

Categories and Directions
The categories are the heart of the content analysis. The collection of the data becomes possible and easy through the structure of the categories. A category in content analysis is a set of criteria or a measure, which are integrated round a theme or a value (Sarandakos, 1998: 281).

These Categories are prepared for the current study the following categories are helped to find and investigate the US inclination towards Pakistan and India during the selected time period and also explore the relationship between both countries are positive or negative, favor or disfavor, foe or friend in the perspective of American press. The categories are following:

A. Gas Pipeline

B. Kashmir Dispute

C. Pak-Indo Peace Relation

D. Water Issue

E. Nuclear Power

F. Terrorism

G. Others/ Miscellaneous

The editorials regarding the above mentioned categories are treated to check the following directions:

Positive/Supportive/ Favorable (+)
Negative/Critical/ Unfavorable (-)
Neutral (1)

Any editorial is considered “Favorable” (+) if its stance is positive about Pak-India relations.


Any editorial is considered as “Unfavorable”, (-) which is negative in tone or its stance is negative about Pak-India relations.


Any editorial is deliberated as “neutral” (0) if the content of the editorial portrays faint highlighting of an issue or shows a balance of both positive and negative arguments regarding Pak-India relations.

Issues descriptions:

War on Terrorism:
Terrorism was an old phenomenon. About last two to three decades ago, terrorism was generally arose due to native issues and accompanied by small groups that coveted to draw consideration to their origin through terrorist actions. It was formulated to finish a few but catch the attention of huge spectators. Currently, Terrorism is an ideologically driven phenomenon, its agenda is not bound to one country, and it is universal in charisma. The multinational flora of terrorism has led the governments to adopt new policies and improve collective regional efforts.

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After the 9/11 activity in America, the American administration stated an international “war on terror,” including open and secret military operations, new safety regulation, determinations to slab the financing of terrorism, and much more. America called all other countries to join this war against terrorism emphasizing that “either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.” Most of the countries join this fight against terrorism, often implementing strict new laws, lifting long-standing legal protections and marching up native policing and intelligence work.

Critics protest that the “war against terrorism” is an ideology of fear and repression that creates enemies and promotes violence rather than mitigating acts of terrorism and to strengthen the security. The global campaign has too often displaced an excuse for governments, opposition groups and ignores international law and civil liberties to be. Governments should combat terrorism through international cooperation with international law and respect for civil liberties and human rights. Governments should also consider the causes of terrorism, in particular political alienation address by prejudice, state-sponsored violence and poverty.

Kashmir Dispute:

Gas Pipeline

Pak-Indo Peaceful Relation

Nuclear Power

Water Issue

Others / Miscellaneous


1.4. Data Analysis and Interpretation

The following categories are to be analyzed for the study in hand where

“A” represents “Nuclear Power”

“B” represents “Kashmir Dispute”

“C” represents “Pak-Indo Peaceful Relation”

“D” represents “Water Issue”

“E” represents “Gas Pipeline”

“F” represents “Terrorism”

“G” represents “others/ Miscellaneous”


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