Article under review in a peer-reviewed journal. Title and journal names and manuscript details have been left out.
In the emerging field of media politics of dissent most studies concentrate on industrialized societies where protests usually target state institutions, where national media systems are mature and internet captures more attention. There are relatively few studies on the role of 24 hour news television which in some societies is the most game-changing ‘new media’. In many parts of the world, a commercial and plural television is not much older than public internet and more powerful. Movements born in such hybrid regime settings may also have implicit support of state actors. This paper aims to broaden the debate in the field by examining two political protests in Pakistan with specific regards to their organisation and division of labour related to national news media. It draws on 650 Daily Dawn news reports from the year 1992 and 2014, 17 in-depth interviews with key party campaign planners and a focus group conducted at the Karachi Press Club. It will show how a traditional protest form remains extremely relevant to protest elites but that it has been transformed by the arrival of electronic media. The study contributes to media and movement studies understanding of how protest activity in Southern contexts is shaped by media pluralisation.
Keywords: contentious collective action, movement and media interaction, hybrid regimes, 24-hour news television.