Wikileaks Issues Viewed from: Pakistan

Another way to explore the impact of Wikileaks on reputation is to analyze how US State Department cables have been received by the press in each affected country, and how local media deals with Wikileaks related controversies.

Using MRI Universidad de Navarra techniques, we can disaggregate the information country by country. We show in this post how newspapers in Pakistan have reproduced the information provided by Wikileaks.

We count with the information gathered from the leading Pakistani newspapers publishing in English, one of the local official languages.

The analysis we present in this post is based on 789 news directly related to Wikileaks by Pakistani newspapers, and published before December 29. As we show in the following graph, the reference newspapers in English account for 72% of our sources in terms of news: The News International, The Express Tribune, Daily Times, The Nation, Business Recorder, Dawn and Pakistan Observer. The remaining 28% of all news come from another 22 newspapers.

Moving to content analysis, we provide some of our results in the following graphs. The results have been estimated as follows: we count at MRI Universidad de Navarra with a systematic rearch of content analysis in news of issues we are interested in by checking the presence of some 1,300 different key words. We have applied also here in the Wikileaks Reputation crisis project tackling the content profile of Wikileaks news in each country we analyze.

We show now which is the local approach to Wikileaks news by newspapers in Pakistan. As just mentioned, our data set here is a sample of 789 articles published by 30 different Pakistani newspapers between the start of the Wikileaks crisis and the end of December 2010.

The strategy we use to identify Pakistani interests is to compare local treatment of Wikielaks issues against international treatment of the same issues by newspapers publishing in English, excluding US newspapers, as we consider them as outliers because all news refers to US foreign diplomacy.

We can show here only a selection of issues related to Wikileaks. We present first some examples of issues that captured the attention from local media in a substantially higher proportion than in international media. We order the issues by their importance in terms of number of appearences in different press articles.

As for those issues that we group into those that we call “Highly Sensitive”, we can appreciate a clear and coherent pattern. The refer to terrorism, Islam and Governance issues (corruption, dictatorship). Sensitive issues point also to local economic and social problems: poverty, unrest, unemployment. Finally, Pakistani press seem to be concerned by prestige and reputation issues, with the prevalence of terms like humiliated, exposed, sincerity.

In the other side, we find the issues that are not relevant for local press in Pakistan, again by comparison with international media coverage. This is Group 4 issues, called by us as “Irrelevant Issues”. The picture is again quite coherent, as these uninteresting issues for local media refers to business related news (Banking, Company), and all news related with Wikileaks controversies about its founder, Julian Assange (Sweden, rape, crime) , and about measures taken to limit Wikileaks actions,  (Internet, MasterCard), and related controversies (privacy, unfair).

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