A survey of Pakistani journalists, members of the policy community and media academics found that the mediatization of Pakistan is having a mixed effect on the stability of the country’s fragile democracy. Members of the policy community generally have a more positive view of the impact of the media on Pakistani society than those who work in the profession and say they take media reaction into account before making decisions, although all groups said the media are still unable to fulfill its watchdog role without fear of retribution. The results are in line with studies in the developed world that found that the more politicians believe in a stronger media effect, the more susceptible they become to media agenda setting. The findings also bolster the ‘co-evolution’ theory that argues media gain influence as democracy stabilizes in post-autocratic environments.
- Agenda setting