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Fellows' Papers
Journalism & Democracy

Media-powered democracy

Gibran Peshimam, Political Editor of The Express Tribune, a Pakistan-based English daily, has written his research paper on the role of the media in the country’s democratization process. The paper entitled ‘Media-powered democracy: how media support has been pivotal to Pakistan’s latest democratization project’ superimposes the development of the country’s media on Pakistan’s troubled political history,  and traces the relationship between the two.Identifying three periods Pakistan has spent under civilian rule trying to democratize, he finds that the current period of democratization has been the most successful – a period which corresponds with the most rapid opening up of the media scene in the country. It was also a period in which the media was seen to have come out in support of democracy. The success of this third push for democratization in Pakistan, he writes, is most apparent in the historic elections of 2013, which saw one civilian government hand over power to a successor through a democratic election process for the first time in the country’s history. His main finding is that the role of a young and powerful media, which has grown in size and influence over the last decade, was pivotal in this achievement.