Militants media in Pakistan: Political etymology and professional craft
The Pak Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS) organized a series of policy dialogues to seek expert opinion on a PIPS research report titled ‘Understanding Militants’ Print Media in Pakistan and its Impact’. The report maps the militants’ media, its genesis and evolution, and impact on the Pakistani state and society. The report also profiles publications of the militants’ media, colloquially known as ‘jihad media’, along with publications of madrassas, sectarian groups and/or associated individuals, and mainstream media groups which support the narrative of the militants’ media. Besides content analysis of the four types of publications, the report also discusses at length the parallel propaganda campaign by militants in the form of leaflets and Shabnamas (night letters). The report finds that the militants’ media is gradually expanding its influence and outreach, having frustrated government efforts to close it down by continuously resurfacing under new names.
The sessions brought together a large number of media representatives, scholars and academics to discuss the militants’ media in Pakistan. There was near consensus during the sessions that the mainstream media also shared responsibility for the current spate of militancy and radicalization in Pakistan as it had failed to put in enough efforts to counter, or at least not side with, the militants’ media. Details of three sessions organized by PIPS are given below: