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PML-N’s Youth Policy


VIEW : PML-N’s Youth Policy — Fakiha Hassan Rizvi

Earlier this year the slogans of change were highly charged. The initiators constituted of ‘vibrant Pakistani youth’. The polling stations filled up, as the Election Day converted into a day of celebration for a nation weary of rampant corruption, fomenting extremism and uncertain modes of governance. The unemployed but educated youth also foresaw the amelioration of a country that provided them with lesser chances to excel. The younger population became a large chunk of the ‘electoral target’ for two mainstream political parties: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). Convincing an emotionally driven segment of society tested the political acumen and persuasiveness of Pakistani politicians. At the end of the day, PML-Nawaz was triumphant. Not only did the majority of Pakistanis voted for the PML-N but also the majority of youngsters believed in its leadership for a better tomorrow.

According to a Gallup Pakistan survey, on May 11, 2013, among the new voters who took part in the general elections this time, 37 percent voted in favour of the PML-N, whereas 26 percent of them voted for the PTI. Regardless of complaintss of rigging and other electoral malpractices, the PML-N is now handling the affairs of the state and it also owes that to the youth that voted for it.

The PML-N remained cognizant of the possible consequences ensuing in case of resentment from the young voters. Taking the leverage of its’ government’s term in Punjab from 2008 to 2013, it took timely and strategic steps to garner support of younger population. The laptop scheme under the e-youth initiative of Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif raised the popularity graph of the PML-N among students belonging to public sector universities. The Ujala Scheme (distribution of free solar lamps) and the extravagant Punjab Youth festival, which created back-to-back world records, encouraged more membership in PML-N’s youth wing. ‘Merit’ was a condition that had to be fulfiled by the students. The internship programmes also motivated the fresh graduates to earn and prepare themselves for professional life ahead. Foreign tours were arranged for outstanding students who scored the highest marks at matriculation and intermediate level. Regular visits were paid by the chief minister to educational institutes, which was even termed as ‘pre-poll rigging’ by his opponents, as the chief minister used to ask for votes from students. The Danish schools represented the PML-N’s volition to improve the state of education in Pakistan and to provide state-of- the-art facilities to the underprivileged students.

This incentive-based trend has continued and initiatives of such nature are again being introduced, now at the national level. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, in his latest address to the public, has briefed the nation about six new youth-centered programmes. He has promised the future architects with the provision of ‘youth training’, ‘loans’, ‘youth employment’ and laptops. To make things easier and accessible a website has been launched (www.pmo.gov.pk) that will be operational from September 28, 2013. It is a good indicator that the PML-N wants the youth to give its’ feedback about the new schemes that it can provide through the website and SMS service. However, it should be kept in mind that these schemes cannot continue for a long period of time. The younger population is more concerned about education and respectable living standards at home. Nationwide surveys show that most young Pakistanis list jobs, education and access to resources as their top priorities. For this, it has to be converted into a valuable human resource. On the other hand, the large number of young voters reaching the ballot boxes on May 11, 2013 also indicates that the Pakistani youth now wants to have a greater say in the policies that influence or govern the country.

Along with the continuation of support and development programmes, the PML-N has to accentuate long-term goals. Strategic and tangible measures are required to secure a reasonable future for the possible ‘youth bulge’. It is evident that political parties did realise the problems being faced by the Pakistani youth. The electoral manifestos of all political parties contesting the general elections 2013 did not and could not afford to ignore the word ‘youth’. In the case of the PML-N, the manifesto consisting of 110 pages, reiterated the word youth 17 times. Among a long list of initiatives that the manifesto promises, one is to “involve youth in governance at the local level and reservation of special seats in Union Councils and District Councils to prepare them for a bigger role in National and Provincial Assemblies.” This part of the manifesto seems to be unattended to date. Almost two-thirds of Pakistan’s total population is under the age of 25 and there is no way that this fraction can be excluded from political participation. The PML-N led government needs to declare and explain the plans for enhanced participation of youth in policy-making and governance. Legislative amendments and restructuring of state policies must be steered towards ‘inclusion of youth’ at all levels.

The writer is a student of Communication Studies at University of the Punjab and blogs at http://www.fakihahassanrizvi.wordpress.com. She Tweets at @Fakiha_Rizvi

Originally published in Pakistan Daily Times on September 30, 2013. http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013%5C09%5C30%5Cstory_30-9-2013_pg3_6

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2013 in Political Ticker

 

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PML-N’s Relations with the Press and Media


Fakiha Hassan Rizvi
JournalismPakistan.com
May 26, 2013

LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League –Nawaz (PML-N) is geared up to govern Pakistan, under the leadership of Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif. Third chance to grasp the throne, inevitably, precipitates multiple hopes, expectations and above all, renewed political acumen.

A substantial mandate and favorable public opinion has made Nawaz indebted towards the nation. Members of the civil society appreciate his humility, however, in my opinion, this should have been an obvious outcome, keeping in view the degree of trust that the nation bestowed upon him. Several factors contributed to his victory. Among the long list, projection given to PML-N by the media stands out.

Few months before the elections almost all the television channels made their prime time slot anchor persons sit in the Metro bus with Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, the then Chief Minister of Punjab province (and hopefully the new one as well). Three exclusive interviews were given by Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to a single private television channel in 2012.

On the other hand, his younger brother always enticed media’s eye with his fiery rhetoric and unique speeches studded with rhythmic abstracts from the poems of Habib Jalib. Shahbaz even encountered the ‘youthful Tsunami’ under the captaincy of Imran Khan and organized events like Youth Festival to get Pakistan’s name in the Guinness Book of World Records. The partnership of Guinness World Record with the Punjab Youth Festival was peculiar and a rare accord in the country’s history. Whatever the reasons, it provided PML-N immense ‘media exposure’ before the formal electioneering campaigns began.

A glance at the past explains that the present-day press in general had been quite sympathetic towards PML-N in the context of party’s relations with the media during its previous tenure. During 1999’s Nawaz had become increasingly intolerant and frequent attempts were made to muzzle the media. Journalists were harassed and victimized during 1988-99.

– Mahmud Lodhi (a Lahore-based journalist), was picked up and held in illegal custody for two days. He was inquired about his involvement with a BBC team filming a documentary on the rise and wealth of the Sharif family.

– CIA police raided the residence of Idrees Bakhtiar, staff reporter of the Herald and Karachi-based correspondent of the BBC. This was the fate of journalists and media professionals associated with international media outlets like the BBC.

Those affiliated with national or regional publications were gagged more severely.

– The owner of The Frontier Post, Rehmat Shah Afridi, was arrested in Lahore on April 2, 1999. The Peshawar-based Frontier Post was critical of government’s policies.

– Najam Sethi, the Editor of Friday Times was arrested from his house in Lahore in the most unethical and humiliating manner reportedly on the orders of Nawaz Sharif. Later, Nawaz Sharif reportedly asked the then Chief of Army Staff General Musharraf to charge Mr. Sethi under the Pakistan Army Act for being a traitor.

– The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a press freedom organization, said on June 1, 1999 that it was conducting an investigation into a “hit list” prepared by the Pakistan government that had names of 35 prominent Pakistani journalists. According to reports received by the CPJ, the federal government had decided to establish a special media cell comprising officials from the police, Intelligence Bureau and the Federal Investigation Agency to punish journalists, who had been writing against the government.

The aforementioned examples don’t indicate PML-N as a tolerant party when it comes to the press. It shouldn’t be forgotten that ‘if’ Nawaz believed in a free and impartial national media, he could have stopped dictatorial boots from coming in the political arena of the country for the third time. The army could have taken over the PTV station at that time as it was the only broadcast television channel then. Had there been networks like Geo TV and more space for journalists to express their opinions, things would have been nearly impossible for General Musharraf.

PML-N needs to revise the past acts against the media and press. The party shouldn’t forget what the media has done to make its success certain in the general elections of 2013. In the latest article published in Newsweek, which considered Nawaz to be the most significant leader in Pakistan’s history after Jinnah it has been suggested that the PML-N should avoid its over-responsiveness to the media and be more logical. Among other obvious indicators of good governance, PML-N’s relations with the press and media would be under stringent observation this time.

(The writer is a student of BS Mass Communication at the University of the Punjab and blogs at http://www.fakihahassanrizvi.wordpress.com)

 

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Media Spin and Elections 2013


Fakiha Hassan Rizvi 
JournalismPakistan.com
May 06, 2013

LAHORE: For the first time in the political history of Pakistan, dictatorial fists are not in a position to muzzle the press or media outlets. However, irresponsible use of freedom will be followed by a trust deficit between ‘watchful media’ and its consumers.

With the elections around the corner ‘voters’ education’ through the mediated messages of electronic and print outlets is gaining momentum. Where paid political advertisements flash frequently on the television screen, commentaries about ‘what next?’ are also surfacing at a swift pace. Voters are being sensitized politically and the first civilian-to-civilian transfer of power carries precedence under the umbrella of various media organizations.

Undoubtedly, mass communicated messages have a certain impact on public opinion and voting behaviors of the people. It is a positive development, like other democratic practices, emergence of the watchdog role of media would turn out to be a decisive factor in the upcoming elections. On the contrary, if the media barons and analysts adopt a nonchalant attitude, then the struggle for indoctrinating democratic values will be abortive. Contextual manipulation or misrepresentation of political parties is a violation of the guidelines framed for the fourth pillar of the state (i.e the media). As devised by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), rules should be followed by mass media, with ‘public good’ being its foremost priority.

Instead of cutting excerpts from the old speeches of politicians and joining them to depict an altogether different and misleading message, focus should be converged on electoral manifestos and election campaigns. Adducing electoral malpractices and projecting the transgressions of political parties during the election campaigns should be the primary goal of Pakistani media.

A report by the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) reveals that around 89 percent of the 49 ‘observed’ election rallies violated the rules set by the ECP. Rallies are fervently shown without any allusion towards the way they deviate from the rules and regulations. All the mainstream political parties including Pakistan Tehreek -e-Insaaf, Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz, Jamaat-e-Islami and even Jamiat-Ulema-e-Islam-F have jeered at the principles for conducting rallies, but the electronic media turned a blind eye to such violations or downplayed them.

In a country like Pakistan, where majority of the people are illiterate and depend heavily on visual communication, privately owned television channels need to be careful. The pliant or murky attitude of a relatively free media can have adverse effects on public opinion. There are a number of guidelines that conform to ethical reporting of facts and obligate each component of a particular television channel (ranging from talk shows to political advertisements) to be impartial. In line with this code, even the paid political advertisements of various political parties should get equal time, space and projection in the media. No particular party should be given the leverage of additional representation at the expense of other parties.

With a clear boundary demarcated to tap the potential of media, positively, there is no reason for broadcasting houses or other sources of information to deviate from it. On the other hand, in case of gross violation of the ethical code of conduct, the ECP has also directed to make corrections adequately, where required. The media has been granted the liberty to be critical of the policies and electioneering of political parties, but at the same time reminds it to distinguish between manipulation and constructive criticism.

It is an abysmal fact that some of the mainstream television channels are not abiding by ECP’s media code of conduct. As a result, the Ethical Journalism Network (EJN), a global coalition of media professional groups and journalists, is purporting a ground-breaking monitoring program led by citizen journalists. Under this program, the performance of local journalists and media coverage of elections 2013 will be carefully scrutinized. The initiative – Pakvotes’ – comprises a handful of trained citizen journalists. It is relying on around 40 field monitors armed with smart phones in various parts of the country. The citizen journalists will report electoral malpractices, especially in conflict-ridden regions like Balochistan.

It is heartening that the incompetence of mainstream media outlets has rendered this ‘observatory role’ to be transferable. Citizen journalists, who usually work voluntarily and are often unpaid workers, will now be making a worthwhile effort during the upcoming elections. Apart from keeping an eye on the menaces of rigging and bribed voting, they’ll also keep a check on media’s performance. Reports that will be overlooked by the national media, won’t go unattended this time as Pakvotes aims to project them to social networks like Twitter and Facebook.

Although their strength is negligible, in the future, their performance can help to frame a well-planned monitoring map for electoral campaigns after 2013.  In addition to this, campaigns of this nature provide a moment of honest reflection for the country’s media organizations. It would be a despondent embarrassment if the media fails to deliver to the masses and does not guide them in a reasonable and responsible manner for ‘Elections 2013’. ‘Media spin’ will tarnish credibility of journalists and broadcasters, something that isn’t a good omen for any democratic transition.
(The writer is a BS Mass Communication student at the University of the Punjab, Lahore and blogs at www.fakihahassanrizvi.wordpress.com. She is also
Editor-in-Chief – The Voice of Youth  – an online youth blog).

 

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The Politics of Surveys in Pakistan


Owing much to the concept of ‘paying heed to issues that don’t need our attention’, politics of surveys is yet another trend in Pakistan. The problem is that such surveys can’t be exaggerated to an extent where they can serve the purpose of forecasting election results and they can’t be ignored completely by the parties that aim at contesting in the elections. Therefore, the findings and abstractions interpreted from the political polls/surveys should be projected according to their limitations. Each new survey becomes a topic of debate in the mainstream media. Anchor persons and analysts start gauging the people-to-politician interactivity level on the basis of these surveys. Where the results are being effectively publicized, due attention should also be given to the research methodology and sample size used by the Institutes. In addition to this, there are some general questions that are completely ignored while discussing the results.

In October 2012, a survey conducted by the International Republican Institute (IRI) notified about the increase in Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz‘s (PML-N) popularity while a slight decline in Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf‘s support. Another startling revelation was that 91 percent of those who were included in the sample size, believed that Pakistan was heading in the wrong direction. There has been no substantial debate over this disappointment attached with the people who are likely to caste their votes in the upcoming elections as they all belong to an age group of 18 +. The sample size of the survey conducted between July and August 2012 was 600,1. The latest one was conducted from a pool of 4,997 people from November 2 to November 22, 2012. Apart from the decrease in sample size there was also a shift in the public opinion over the most pressing issues faced by the country. In the previous survey, Pakistanis considered energy crisis and inflation as the two most challenging issues in the country. In contrast, the latest survey reveals that now “terrorism” is a major problem of Pakistan and the research concluded that people aren’t in favour of new provinces.

Another thing left unnoticed is that the IRI missed Federally Administered Tribal areas and Chitral due to political turmoil and volatile security situation in those regions. This still leaves a question mark on the complete popularity graphs of various political parties on regional/provincial basis. The furore over this survey, isn’t an objective way to portray the findings. However, it does provide some ‘points to ponder’ to the national political leadership. For the masses it is among other electioneering gambits.

 

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2013 in Political Ticker

 

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Why the General Elections of 2013 in Pakistan will be Unique?


This audio identifies the factors that make the general elections of Pakistan in 2013, unique and historic.

(Click the play button above to listen)

Editorial Content of the Audio

Pakistan’s road towards democracy has been full of hurdles. The incumbent ruling coalition of the Pakistan People’s Party ( also known as the PPP) is the first democratically elected government in the history of Pakistan to complete its five-year term. However, the nation paid a heavy price for this. PPP’s leader and former prime minister, Benazir Bhutto was assassinated after addressing a public rally in Liaqat Baagh Rawalpindi just when the elections of 2008 under General Musharraf were around the corner.

The dictator was ousted by the lawyers’ movement that supported the Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. Pakistan People’s Party marked an important democratic transition under the leadership of Asif Ali Zardari (widower of late Benazir Bhutto). Despite heavy criticism from the opposition for PPP’s bad governance, ill-management of energy crisis and record levels of corruption, the party is moving towards the end of its complete term.

The general elections of 2013 will be unique for a number of reasons.

To name a major few;

  • it is for the first time that political parties got a time span of 5 years to engage with the local population.
  • Imran Khan, the cricketer-turned-politician has attracted a sizeable number of youth that constitutes more than half of the total population of Pakistan. Ascribing the word Tsunami with it, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf under the leadership of Imran Khan presents itself as a symbol for change in Pakistan.
  • It is for the first time that politicians are using social media, information networks like Twitter to reach the masses.
  • Public rallies were in full swing during the years 2011 and 2012. Including the historic public address of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Chief Imran Khan.
  • The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is constantly working to ensure that the elections in 2013 should be free and fair by all means.
  • The Supreme Court of Pakistan made some unprecedented verdicts on the socio-political issues of the country including reforms in the electoral process.
  • The upcoming general elections will be the most expensive ones in the history of Pakistan. The ECP has estimated that Rs 5.90 billion in expenses will be incurred during the election compared to Rs 1.45 billion spent in 2008. Moreover, the 180 million ballot papers printed for the election will be watermarked!
  • Last but not the least, ‘political songs’ echoed the most in rallies of Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf. Pop singer Abrar ul Haq sided with Imran Khan and Fakhir Mehmood, another singer of Pakistan, joined Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.pakistan_elections

 What is left to be seen is that how these factors will mould voting behaviour in Pakistan where most of the voters are ’emotionally-charged’ and literacy rate isn’t satisfactory.

 
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Posted by on December 14, 2012 in Audio

 

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Techno-politics in Pakistan During 2012


Techno-politics in Pakistan during 2012: the Role of Social ‘Information Network’ (Twitter) in Political Communication
A Comparative Study of Tweets by Imran Khan and Shehbaz Sharif

By Fakiha Hassan Rizvi

@CMShehbaz or @ImranKhanPTI

@CMShehbaz or @ImranKhanPTI

Introduction:

Media and politics are intertwined, especially in democratic states. Technological advancement has drastically changed the process of communication and this in turn has brought significant variations in ‘political communication’. Significance of e-connections has increased at an exponential rate in the age of ‘Internet-reliance’. The human of 21st century is submerged in an ocean of information, constantly being bombarded with packs of ‘what he/she wants to know’ and even ‘what he/she doesn’t want to know’. The later pack is a gift of the world-wide web, stirring a change in media environment, referred to as ‘new media’, ‘e-media’ or the ‘cyberculture’, according to some.

Wolsfeld (2011) has argued that the transition of ‘media’ with the advent of Internet hasn’t altered the central focus of the ‘political game’ that is ‘the need to be heard’. A larger part of the Internet industry is influenced by the ‘Social Media‘. [1]

Brown (2008) while explaining the development of ‘social media’ has described it as a requirement of the Internet users. He backs this observation by stating that “social media makers merged elements of multimedia within the concepts of social media”. The sphere of ‘social media’ is complex due to its vast and comprehensive nature. A prominent part of it revolves around the idea of ‘networking’ or connecting people together via Internet. This, today, is largely being achieved through ‘social networking websites’. [2]

Lester and Waters (2010) define the term ‘social network’ as a ‘specific type of service provided by the social media’, which is often confused with various components of social media (Blogs, Wikis, Internet Forums, Social News Sites, Photo and Video Sharing/Hosting, dating services, Bookmarking and Tagging services). They have classified the ‘social networking landscape’ as follows: [3]

1- General-Interest Networks: All – purpose/ popular/ mainstream networks. This group includes networks that share striking similarities with Facebook, hi5, Orkut, Google Buzz and My Space. Such networks give a unique mechanism for ‘connecting people’.

2- Business Networks- Professional or business-specific networks like LinkedIn, eBay Neighbours, Xing.

3- Niche Networks- Within this network users socialize through movies, music, games or they belong to a similar educational/workplace/ethnic/religious background.

Any substantial or function-based deviation from the above is not a part of the ‘social network’.

Twitter is often considered as a ‘social network’, but it is a ‘micro-blog’ (with a limitation of 140 characters). It is counted as a ‘information network’ that has a ‘macro-impact’ due to its ‘sharing-oriented’ operation.

The research study will explore the use of Twitter by two tech-savvy politicians of Pakistan (Imran Khan the President of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf-PTI) and Mian Shehbaz Sharif from Pakistan Muslim League- N-PML-N) The election campaign of 2008 inducted ‘social media’ in American politics. President Barack Obama was the first politician to ‘Tweet’. The world has already viewed ‘Tweets from Tahrir Square’ in the Arab Spring. Under the authoritarian regimes, social media was taken as an alternative form of media by the suppressed and forcefully-muted citizens. The immense role social media has played in times of crises (floods of 2010 in Pakistan) allowed it to expand its influence and penetration among the masses. Relief and rehabilitation was aided by the effective use of social media. Digital activism and other participatory activities being achieved by the Pakistani population (youth in particular) has definitely shifted the focus of every sector towards the social media, whether it be politics, traditional media outlets, non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) or the health and education sectors. Politicians of Pakistan for the first time have used social media with such exuberance and vigilance. Therefore, this is a major development in their strategies of ‘political communication’, where the use of internet is becoming vital. The researcher will discuss at length the ‘politics of virtual world – in Pakistani context’ as reflected by the ‘Tweets’ of the selected politicians from January 1, 2012 till November 15, 2012.

The research study aims to investigate:

Who is a better Techno-politician, Imran Khan or Mian Shehbaz Sharif?

The investigation will be carried out by a self-devised ‘Model of Technopolitical Communication’ by the researcher.

Significance of the Study:

The research study will be the only one of its kind that will explain technopolitics in Pakistan by analysing the use of Twitter. Instead of merely relying on the statistical data, the researcher also intends to relate the functions of Twitter with aspects of participatory politics. ‘Tweets’, ‘Retweets’, and other information shared on Twitter will be studied under the political lens.

Rationale for the selected Politicians:

The number of politically affiliated Twitter users in Pakistan is large. However, the study focuses on just two politicians, for the sake of comparison. The rationale for the choice depends on the following factors:

1- They are selected by the number of Twitter followers. @Imran Khan – 426, 655 followers, @CMShehbaz – 58,577 followers (according to what was viewed on the Twitter profiles of both these politicians by the researcher on November 18, 2012)

2- According to the Gallup-Poll-2012, Pakistan Muslim League – N (PML-N) and Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) have been the most popular political parties of the country from 2008 till 2012. The selected politicians have the highest number of followers on Twitter among other members of their respective parties.

Theoretical Framework:

The researcherwill use a self-devised ‘Model of Technopolitical Communication’ that will relate politics of virtual world with the real politics and traditional political approaches of politicians in Pakistan. This relationship is for the sake of understanding and cannot be taken as a replacement for politics in the real world.

The relations constructing this model are as follows:

Technopolitician – Twitter user who is Politician in real world.

Tweets – the message of the technopolitician, similar to a press conference in real world or the use of other mass media by the politician to communicate with the people.

Retweets – how much flexible is the technopolitical orientation, what does he/she want to share with his constituents through other available sources. In the real world, politicians often attribute certain statements or present data/information to logically convince the public. However, Retweets move a step forward as a technopolitician can share what people have to say about him at national and international levels. The conversation on Retweets ascribed to the citizens at national level can represent what the recipient of the technopolitical message has to say.

Conversation – the number of politically active netizens (virtual substitute for citizens in the real world), supporting or resisting the technopolitical messages (Tweets/Retweets (Netizens at national level). 

Techopolitical model

As shown in the diagram, the model explains the relation between the Tweets/Retweets (Technopolitical message) and the Response or impact that can be assessed through the Retweets of Netizens at national level and the conversation that the Technopolitician has with them.The model has its limitations and cannot be considered as an alternative for how traditional political communication operates in the real world through mass media or other ways.

However, it is applicable for studying and comparing the use of ‘information network’ (Twitter) by real life politicians. The model doesn’t rely on the number of followers, but the number of those ‘interacting’ with the technopolitician (either in response to the Tweets or when the technopolitcian Retweets what the Netizens have to say about him/her or to him/her). This implies that the conversation to Tweets ratio or the conversation to Retweets (Netizens at National level) ratio accounts for the effectiveness of the technopolitical communication. Another advantage that the technopolitician gets through this technologically driven virtual political campaign’ is the ‘feedback’ that helps in constructing appealing political messages by enhancing the content that has resulted in the desired impact.

Method:All the ‘visible’ activity on the Twitter accounts of both the politicians was recorded from January 1, 2012 till November 15, 2012. The data were then tabled as follows: 


@CMShehbaz:

SHEHBAZ SHARIF CM

@ImranKhanPTI 

IMRAN KHAN PTIDiscussion:

 Tweeting Captain (Imran Khan) Versus Tweeting CM (Shehbaz Sharif)

@ImranKhanPTI has a large number of followers, but his activity on the basis of the model presented by the researcher is negligible. He can be regarded as a weak Technopolitician in comparison to @CMShehbaz. From January 1, 2012 till November 1, 2012, Imran Khan Tweeted 610 times, Retweeted 69 times, Conversations on Retweets by Pakistani Netizens were just 2 out of a total of 8 conversation during 10 months. It is also noteworthy that @ImranKhanPTI Retweeted his own party member (Shafqat Mehmood) most of the times. He exhibited a certain trend while Retweeting journalists, only Hassan Nisar and Mubashar Lucman were Retweeted by him.

On the other hand, during the same time frame, @CMShehbaz Tweeted 1050 times, Retweeted times, Conversations on Retweets by Pakistani Netizens were 60, Retweets of Pakistani citizens were 110 out of a total of 730. @CMShehbaz remained a very active technopolitician in a very positive way. He Retweeted media persons of Pakistan 99 times and no particular trend was found. There was a variety (Asma Shirazi, Maria Memon, Talat Hussain, Nadeem Malik, Hamid Mir, Sana Bucha- to mention a few) The CM not only Retweeted praiseworthy remarks, but criticism was also found on his Twitter page, few and far between. Retweets from PML-N officials or other Twitter accounts of PML-N were 111 (Khurram Dastagir was the most Retweeted party member). There were 50 Retweets by the CM from International Community and one of the citizens of Nigeria even stated that he aspired for a CM like Shehbaz Sharif in Nigeria, who uses Twitter. The interesting observation was the large number of Retweets from various other pages, The Dissenter, Revolt Today, The Economist, BBC, Overt Dictionary, Great Quotes (to name a few prominent ones), which together amounted for 360 Retweets.

Conclusion:
@ImranKhanPTI has a large number of followers on Twitter, but his Technopolitics is weak according to the findings. @CMShehbaz possesses the Technopolitical acumen. He is using the Information Network like Twitter is a very effective way.

References:
[1] Gadi Wolsfeld (2011), Making Sense of Media and Politics, five principles in Political Communication
 [2] Brown (2008), Social Media 100 success Secrets: Social Media, Web 2.0. User generated content and Virtual Communities – 100 Must Asked Mass Collaboration Questions, George Brown, JR.
 [3] Lester and Waters, 2010, The Everything guide to Social Media: All you need to know about participating in today’s most popular online communities.
 
https://twitter.com/CMShehbaz  
https://twitter.com/ImranKhanPTI
 

Please note that the researcher has no political leanings or biases. It was an interest based academic study, being a student of Communication Sciences. The researcher, therefore, doesn’t want to tarnish the repute of or disappoint the supporters of the politicians discussed in this post!

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2012 in Research Hub

 

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