CNN Effect: 24/7 Phenomena of Pakistani News Channels

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CNN Effect: Pakistani news channels


Pakistan media is among the powerful in south Asia because of its vibrant media scenes. In the 21st Century, Pakistan mass media is creating panic and uncertainty among the people as a huge amount of audience is watching these channels. In the Urban area, 89% public, and in the Rural area 66% of people watch these news channels. The first hypothesis of the research was that how Pakistani News Channels creates panic and uncertainty among the masses? The second hypothesis was how these channels shape the policy-making decision? The third hypothesis was how this effect exploits the gap between reality and perception? The analysis indicates our news channels repeating the news so much that they are building the perception of masses controlling the mind of the public. They want to inject their opinions into people. And the repetition of the news leaves the element of fear, panic, and sometimes uncertainty in society. Due to privatization and commercialization, Pakistani news channels are more concerned about maintaining and increasing their PR, which rise the utilization of the CNN effect and continuity of the news cycle. The study analysis can be used to create awareness among the public and facilitating PEMRA in law regulation of media.


Media in Pakistan gives data on TV, radio, film, papers, and magazines. Pakistani news channels is among the powerful in south Asia because of its vibrant media scenes. The dominant part of the media in Pakistan is exclusive. Pakistan has around 300 exclusive privately-owned newspapers. TV is the primary wellspring of news and information for individuals in Pakistan’s towns, urban areas, and huge zones of the country.

The Pakistani media are returning to much of British India, where various newspapers have been set up to promote the communist plan or package. The Dawn newspaper, created by Muhammad Ali al-Jinnah and destined for a long time, spoke of the progress made in creating a free Pakistan. The Nawa-I- Waqt Guard document, compiled in 1940, was the spokesman for the Muslim elites who were among the most legitimate supporters of autonomous Pakistan. It can be said that the Pakistani press strongly expressed the credibility of Pakistan, which was considered the best national choice for the Muslim minority in British India and as a form of self-protection against the achievement of most Indians.

Then printed media gradually becoming electronic. The first Pakistani Television Partnership (PTV) was the key player. However, in the last decades, many transmitters have been developed, e.g. Hum TV, ARY News, Geo News, etc. Under the strict laws, the organization has also limited or reassured the known broadcasters. The Pakistani electronic media regulatory authority (PEMRA) has been used to alleviate TV media, either by suspending licenses or finding a way to do everything that is considered.

If we look into the Pakistani constitution it guarantees the opportunity for expression and the primary objective of offering the media an opportunity. In the constitution, it is written that:

‘‘Shall be guaranteed fundamental rights, including equality of status, of opportunity and before the law, social, economic and political justice, and freedom of thought, expression, belief, faith, worship and association, subject to the law and public morality.’’

   Pakistan News Channels

“Television makes suggestions about what to think about, not how to go about thinking.” (Sott Kaufmann)

I will attempt to break down the contrasts between the two TV news stations Geo and ARY, as they are the most-watched channels in Pakistan and internationally and the data revolution brought about an over-burden of data and individuals got many news pieces every day, TV has gotten one of the most well-known and viable methods for correspondence. One can legitimately expect that the data that individuals get is filtered through a few stages until it secures its last structure and arrives at its goal. Likewise, any data communicate on TV originating from various sources can nearly be interpreted uninhibitedly, so to say subjectively, and can have an end as well.

The previously mentioned Geo and ARY are universal news TVs. These sorts of TV stations are the objects nowadays, and by their tendency, they have significantly more power in framing the public opinion than those channels just halfway manage international news.

  1. GEO Television

GEO TV is a Pakistani telecom organization built up by Mir Shakil ur Rehman in May 2002. It has a spot with Independent Media Corporation, owner of the Jang Group of Newspapers. The channel started its test transmission on 14 August 2002, though standard transmission began from 1 October 2002.

Geo Television Network started with its lead station Geo TV, in any case, has since moved a couple of various stations which consolidate the going:

a. GEO Entertainment

b. GEO News

c. GEO Super

 d. AAG TV

  • ARY News

ARY News is a Dubai-based Pakistani news direct moved on 26 September 2004. Bilingual news direct in English and Urdu, it is a bit of the ARY Digital Network, which is a reinforcement of ARY Group. It was as of late known as ARY One World until 2009 when it was re-set apart as ARY News. ARY News is one of the primaries submitted overall news directs in Pakistan. It has exclusive journalists in for all intents and purposes every single noteworthy capital around the globe, an arrangement of more than 500 feature writers and correspondents in Pakistan, and huge worldwide frameworks as select assistants for the exchanging of news, information, and other specific workplaces.

  Problem Statement

In the 21st Century, Pakistani news channels are creating panic and uncertainty among the people as a huge amount of audience is watching these channels. In the Urban area, 89% of the public watch news channels, and in the Rural areas 66% of people watch this. These two news channels ARY and GEO news both creating a sense of fear and precariousness among people. They are just like the CNN effect as they give news repeatedly for 24 hours. CNN is defined as ‘the acronym for a news network that broadcasts news 24 hours a day, seven days a week. CNN was the pioneer of 24-hour news channel in the history of television and the first channel dedicated solely to the news in the United States’’.

 We can call them ARY effect or GEO effect like the CNN effect.


Pakistani News Channels following the trend of the CNN Effect.

Research Questions

  1. How Pakistani News Channels create panic, shock, and uncertainty among masses?
  2. What role do these channels play in shaping the policy-making decision?
  3. How this effect exploits the gap between reality and perception?


  • CNN effect (Independent Variable)
  • Pakistan News Channels (Dependent Variable)

   Literature Review

In ‘The CNN Effect: The Search for a Communication Theory of International Relations’’  written by ‘Eyton Gilboa’’ has discussed that this examination explores the decade long exertion to build and approve an interchanges hypothesis of universal relations that attests that worldwide TV networks, such as CNN and BBC World, have become a definitive entertainer in deciding arrangements and results of critical occasions. It efficiently and breaks down significant works distributed on this hypothesis, referred to likewise as the CNN impact.

In ‘The CNN effect: Can the news media drive foreign policy’’? written by Piers Robinson has discussed that during the 1980s the proliferation of new advancements changed the capability of the news media to give a steady progression of worldwide ongoing news. Tiananmen Square and the breakdown of communism symbolized by the fall of the Berlin Wall became significant media occasions conveyed to Western crowds momentarily using TV news media. Before the decade’s over the inquiry was being posed regarding what degree this had affected upon government it was contended crystal of the Cold War CNN impact’ epitomized the possibility that continuous correspondences innovation could incite significant reactions from local crowds and political elites to worldwide occasions.

In ‘The CNN Effect” written by Warren Strobel has discussed CNN affect how much the 24 hours news affects foreign policy and he also discussed that it destroys the news cycle concept and how the CNN effect is on the rise.

In the ‘CNN effect revisited’’ written by Piers Robinson has discussed that it is seen from the post-9/11 point of view, the CNN impact discussion of the 1990s and related intercessions during humanitarian intervention show up as an abnormality, during a time where more noteworthy media self-rule and lost strategy bearing after the Cold War prompted more prominent potential for media to shape legislative issues. Today, there is solid justification for reasoning that the risk of socialism, which made an ideological bond among journalist and strategy creators during the Cold War, has been supplanted by the ”war on terror,” sought after with assurance by the Bush administration and pursued another agreement among columnists and policymaking elites.

In the “CNN Effect in Action” written by B. Bahadur has discussed in his book that the current hypothetical work on the CNN impact, a case that advancements in the speed and nature of innovation make conditions in which the media goes about as a free factor with critical impact. It gives a novel understanding of the variables that drove the Western approach towards military intercession around there.

In the book “CNN Effect: The Myth of News, Foreign Policy and Intervention” written by piers Robinson discussed that CNN Effect looks at the connection between the state and its media, and considers the pretended by the news announcing in a progression of ‘Humanitarian’ mediations in Iraq, Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Rwanda. Robinson challenges customary perspectives on media subservience and contends that sympathetic news inclusion at key minutes in foreign emergencies can impact the reaction of Western governments.

 Theoretical Framework. 


Methodical research of any critical political correspondence wonder initially requires a useful definition. CNN impacts have a variety of confounding definitions. A few plans address just the approach limiting impact on compassionate intercession choices. While others recommend an entirely different way to deal with the making of foreign policy and world political affairs. “The CNN impact is a hypothesis that convincing TV pictures. For example, pictures of a philanthropic emergency, cause U.S. policymakers to intercede in a circumstance when such an intercession may somehow, or another is not in the U.S. national intrigue.” – Feist (2001).

Schorr (1998) characterized the CNN impact as “how breaking news influences international strategy choices.”

“The intensity of TV pictures to genuinely move individuals so capably that significant military and political choices are driven by those photos instead of by well- contemplated arrangement contemplations”.

The effect of 24×7 TVs on government arrangement is named as the “CNN Effect” or the CNN bend or the CNN factor. This effect of new worldwide, continuous media is normally viewed as generous, if not significant. The main consideration to achieve this is progressing in correspondence innovation that made an ability to communicate live from any place on Earth

This effect is not a theory it is a phenomenon. It is a 24/7 phenomenon, a live television coverage through the cable channels. It affects public opinion and decision-makers as many strategists learned about the trouble spots through these channels for the first time. We can say it is a west phenomenon to have an opinion in their favor.

This effect now controls the mind of the public and it exploits the gap between reality and perception. We are adapted to the media because of this CNN effect. We can refer to this CNN effect as an ‘Illusionist’’. As it is an effective propaganda tool and it molds public opinion and perception. The CNN effect is more complex than conventional wisdom can hold.

  Analysis of Pakistani News Channels:

This paper analyses how CNN Effect now becomes relevant to the Pakistan news channels like we discussed two big names of News Channels of Pakistan ARY News and GEO news.  How these channels create fear, panic in the public, and how this effect breaks the concept of a news cycle.

The philosophy of CNN Effect is that they target individuals and organizations by the repetition of news 24/7, like the news shown for a prolonged period which limited the attention span of the viewers because of this the target audience aggressively reacts or brings spontaneity in the public.

I will strengthen my hypothesis by giving examples of this country. Nowadays we can refer to our news channels as ARY Effect or GEO Effect because they are doing the same what we call the CNN effect.

If we look at our Pakistani news channels repeating the news so much that they are building the perception of masses controlling the mind of the public. They want to inject their opinions into people. And the repetition of the news leaves the element of fear, panic, and sometimes uncertainty in society. The APS Attack on 16th December 2014, how this attack creates dread among the children, parents, or we can say in society. However, the December 16 attack on the Peshawar Army Public School even surpassed these deportation standards. It was the most horrendous and horrible attack on the persecutors, based on fear, on the full history of the nation, which, according to the World Terrorism Index, is a world generally subject to terrorism repression after Iraq and Afghanistan.

Checkpoints are located in the streets of the city, and more work was distributed to monitor the station. Also, the police created the One-Clink SOS application, which allows the client to warn the nearest 10 police headquarters in case of an oppressor attack based on fear by calling a mobile phone screen. In any case, nobody feels comfortable.

Peshawar’s attack martyred mother, Zubaida Salem, said she would prefer her children not to be educated rather than killed in their classrooms. She has also changed schools.

“After hearing about rumors that terrorists threaten every school based on education, I stopped sending my children to a non-governmental school,” she said. “I am not at all satisfied with what the security forces are doing today to eliminate the persecution based on fear in Pakistan.”

Terror is explicit in tripartite organizations. Speaker Nisreen Ghofran, the office of the Department of International Relations at Peshawar University, reads the hours of “stress, hopelessness, nervousness, and madness” that have arisen and neglected security.

“The situation in the city was worrying and parents are afraid for their children”. “The assailants’ attack on the school indicates that in the future the Taliban will be able to attack other useful organizations or markets, transport hubs, and open areas because they are targets. clear to them. ” this incident was covered by every channel even the international channels gave coverage to them. The news was on repetition on every channel for a couple of months. The bloodshed, bodies, ashes, the interviews of the children, and their parents were on air all the time and this create panic, fear among the people. Masses were hesitated to go to any place by the fear of being killed. Because of these channels and news children suffered from the post-traumatic stress disorder.

Another news the two brothers of Sialkot Muneeb and Mughees Sajjad in 2010, were brutally murdered by the people from their town. And the media was constantly showing the footage of their lynching. What impact it leaves on the mass they have no idea of it because they were getting high PR, and money from the so-called breaking news they don’t care about their public. Because of the privatization, sensationalism of News channels, this all is happening.

These Pakistani News Channels never miss any opportunity to exploit the gap between reality and perception. Just in the case of the Attack on Hamid Mir, when the attack happened after some hours without any investigation the blame was being put on the ISI agency as per these assumptions. They even know the fact that media is the only source for the public to find out what is happening out. But without proper findings, they break the news as our media believe in subjectivity. Mir was harmed on April 19, 2014, when some unknowns opened fire on his vehicle along Shara-e-Faisal. The assault occurred directly after he had landed at the Karachi air terminal. The occurrence was broadly secured by both national and worldwide media.

In any case, Geo TV for whom Mir filled in as a stay — propelled a purposeful publicity battle against the ISI. For a few hours, the system disclosed reports blaming the organization for contributing to the attack while conspicuously flashing the photo of the ISI chief general Lt-Gen (retd) Zaheer Islam. After Geo TV propelled a slur battle against the ISI following the assault on Hamid Mir, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority had suspended on June 6, 2014, the system’s permit for 15 days and forced on it a fine of Rs10 million. The authority had likewise cautioned the channel that it would drop its permit if they do it again. But the result was different in the end. This is how our channels work as an illusionist.

The Nexus of media and foreign policy, the media facilitates the decision-makers as well as due to the power of media the policymakers loss the policy control. The decision-makers sometimes have to take decisions hurriedly often without thinking much because of the hype created by media. It makes life difficult for foreign policymakers as at times these channels dictate the agenda of foreign policy.

From one viewpoint is the alleged “CNN effect”, which is comprehended in an assortment of ways. It originates from being comprehended as the capacity of the news media (TV specifically) to “shape the policy agenda “; the “control” of news reporting “to move governments” (Cohen, 1994); “the possibility that constant interchanges innovation could incite significant reactions from residential spectators and political elites to worldwide occasions”  “world elites loss of strategy control to news media”; to the contention that the expression “CNN impact” has been utilized loosely, for there are a few kinds of media impacts, getting from various sorts of strategies.

This thing will be clarified more by the example when the conflict on Houthi’s broke out between Saudi Arabia and Yemen. At that time Saudi demanded Pakistan for their troops to be sent to Yemen to fight against Houthi’s. At first, Pakistan was going to send the troops but this issue was so highlighted by the media that it shaped the public opinion and an interview survey was conducted at that time where people was totally against this to send the troops as they believed that we have so much internal problems first we have to resolve that then go for the others and media was also against this as they said that by doing this act Pakistan will going to create one more enemy for itself Iran, the relations will be deteriorated by this thing.

Then this thing was also discussed in the parliament and after seeing the reaction of the public they decided not to send the forces to Yemen. And now they said that we have cordial relations with both Iran and KSA we will act as a mediating country to resolve theirs in between tensions.

This is how at first media shapes public opinion by breaking the news and then act as a force of change that affects the decisions of the policymakers.


The Pakistani News Channels follow the CNN Effect as this media of Pakistan nowadays believes in Subjectivity, not on facts. These channels creating panic, shocks and there is also an element of vagueness in this. These channels act as an illusionist, that whatever is being said is reality. Pakistani news channels has destroyed the news cycle due to the CNN effect. It also to a point impacts policy-making, as the process requires time and critical analysis to come to a certain decision but the pressure by media on certain issues shapes the public opinion which undermines the time to respond for policymakers.

Media exploits the gap between reality and perception by continuously creating panic in public regarding any issues. Repetition of news hinders the capacity of the public to develop their perception, falling in the trap of constructive reality by the media. Now the media moved from traditional verified, qualitative and rational media to sensationalized media

Due to privatization and commercialization, Pakistani news channels are more concerned about maintaining and increasing their PR, which rise the utilization of the CNN effect and continuity of the news cycle. Also, PEMRA has article 8 which talks about sensationalism in its constitution, but the problem is with its implementation. It should have strict regulation otherwise this media will do the same again and again.


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