Media Diversity and Representation of Religious Minorities in Pakistan’s Mainstream Media


  • Jan Muhammad University Utara Malaysia, Kedah State, 06010- Malaysia
  • Awan Bt Ismail University Utara Malaysia, Kedah State, 06010- Malaysia


Media Diversity, Religious Minorities in Pakistan, Mainstream Media & Religious Minorities, Blasphemy, Political System in Pakistan


The quality of media diversity is that it offers equal representation to all social and religious groups and reduces conventionalization and radicalization. In civilized democracies, the governments monitor the performance of media operators, forcing them to maintain the culture of media diversity and programming in the interest of their citizens. Diversity is indispensable for the stability and richness of democracy and the well-being of any society. Failure to maintain media diversity destabilizes democracy, increases social distance, and brings isolation, and disruption in societies. This paper examined the conditions of religious minorities in Pakistan and tried to find whether Pakistan’s mainstream media equally represent religious minorities and portray their issues. The study found that the mainstream media of Pakistan neither represent religious minorities nor portray their issues. Likewise, media diversity does not exist in mainstream media, and ruling elites, parliament, and political parties failed to establish a diversified media culture, especially in the interests of religious minorities.


S. M. Brandle, “Media Coverage of Human Rights in the US and UK: The Violations Still Won’t be Televised (or Published),” Human Rights Review, vol. 19, 2018.

Hendrickson Publishers, “The dangerous business of bible publishing in the sixteenth century,” Hendrickson Publishers Blog, 17-Feb-2017. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 19-Feb-2024]. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 19-Feb-2024].

J. Rathi, “Echoes of Resilience: The Struggles and Plight of Minorities in Pakistan,”, 23-Aug-2023. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 19-Feb-2024].

T. Siddiqui, “Dark side of social media in Pakistan: Pressing challenges and prospects,” South Asia Press, 16-Sep-2023. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 19-Feb-2024].

Z. Mahmood, M. J. Aslam, and J. Ahmad, “Is it possible to have freedom of expression? Religious Minorities’ Perceptions of Social Media in Pakistan,” coverage, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 1–10, 2022.

A. Hussain, “Pakistan’s top rights group raises ‘alarm’ on religious freedom,” Al Jazeera, 08-Feb-2023. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 19-Feb-2024].

T. Abrashi, “Acta Facultatis Philosophicae Universitatis Ostraviensis,” Studia Germanistica, vol. 19, 2016.

S. Badsey, U. Daniel, P. Gatrell, O. Janz, H. Jones, and J. Keene, Media in War Politics. Berlin, 2014.

H. J. Yun, “Social responsibility theory. Encyclopedia of Political Communication,” pp. 748–749, 2008.

V. Rupar, Getting the facts right: Reporting ethnicity and religion. 2012.

H. E. Hoffman, The Media Effect and the Implications for Racial Minority Groups. UCA. 2018.

D. Mcquail, “Publication in a free society: the problem of accountability,” Comunicação e Sociedade, vol. 7, pp. 235–252, 2005.

J. Keane, “Democracy and the media-without foundations,” Political Studies, vol. 40, no. 1_suppl, pp. 116–129, 1992.

I. Centelles, “Why diversity in media matters,” Coppieters, 31-Oct-2018. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 20-Feb-2024].

M. Verkuyten and A. A. Yildiz, “The endorsement of minority rights: The role of group position, national context, and ideological beliefs,” Polit. Psychol., vol. 27, no. 4, pp. 527–548, 2006.

Z. Yousaf, “Private news channels: Altering the political perception of Pakistani people,” Academic Research International, vol. 3, no. 3, 2012.

M. Porto, “The Principle of diversity in journalism,” Braz. Journal. Res., vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 135–153, 2005.

D. Martin, “Why diversity in the media is important,” The Volante - University of South Dakota’s Independent Student Newspaper, 27-Jan-2019. .

D. McQuail, “Media performance: Mass communication and the public interest,” Can. J. Commun., vol. 18, no. 4, 1993.

P. M. Napoli, “Exposure diversity reconsidered,” J. Inf. Pol., vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 246–259, 2011. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 20-Feb-2024].

K. Karppinen, “Media diversity and the politics of criteria: Diversity assessment and technocratisation of European media policy,” Nordicom Review, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 53–68, 2006.

K. Siune, “Is broadcasting policy becoming redundant?,” in The media in question. Popular cultures and public interests, 1998, pp. 18–26.

P. Aufderheide, “After the fairness doctrine: Controversial broadcast programming and the public interest,” J. Commun., vol. 40, no. 3, pp. 47–72, 1990.

Golding, Peter. "New technologies and old problems: evaluating and regulating media

performance in the “information age”." (1998).

N. Saleem, M. A. Hanan, and A. Arshad, “Media Representation of Women, Children and Minority Rights: Pakistani Public Response,” Journal of Political Studies, no. 1, 2017.

H. Darbishire, “Minorities and Media Freedom under International Law,” Roma Rights, vol. 4, pp. 60–70, 1999.

C. Larrazet and I. Rigoni, “Media and diversity: A century-long perspective on an enlarged and internationalized field of research,” InMedia, no. 5, 2014.

P. Eisenlohr, “Media and religious diversity,” Annu. Rev. Anthropol., vol. 41, no. 1, pp. 37–55, 2012.

H. Graf, How do mainstream media communicate minority media?: a difference-theoretical study on Radio Islam and AYPA-TV. 2009.

D. M. Hughes, The use of new communications and information technologies for sexual exploitation of women and children. Hastings Women’s LJ, 13. 2002.

R. M. Gonzales, “Role of media and communication: new possibilities for local content distribution,” Information for Development, vol. 2, no. 6, pp. 10–20, 2004.

M. Porto, “The Principle of diversity in journalism,” Braz. Journal. Res., vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 135–153, 2005.

E. Barnouw, International encyclopedia of communications. Oxford University Press, 1989.

W. H. Melody, “Communication policy in the global information economy: Whither the public interest,” pp. 16–39, 1990.

J. Dewey, “Democracy and educational administration,” Planning and Changing, vol. 22, pp. 134–140, 1991.

E. Hart, “Case study 6: media ownership,” in Media and Journalism: New Approaches to Theory and Practice, South Melbourne, Victoria: Oxford University Press, 2011, pp. 400–408.

Bagdikian, Ben H. "The new media monopoly." (2019): 1-xix.

R. W. Mcchesney, The political economy of media: Enduring issues, emerging dilemmas. NYU Press, 2008.

A. Mughan and R. Gunther, “The media in democratic and nondemocratic regimes: A multilevel perspective. Democracy and the media: A comparative perspective,” pp. 1–27, 2000.

M. Gul, Z. Obaid, and S. Ali, “Liberalization of media in Pakistan: A challenge to democracy,” The Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 37–54, 2017.

Y. V. Gankovsky and V. N. Moskalenko, The three constitutions of Pakistan. Peoples’s Publishing House, 1978.

A. Shaheen and K. Mahmood, “NGOs’ Work for Uplifting theNon-Muslim Citizens of Sindh,” Pakistan Journal of History and Culture, no. 1, 2018.

N. Saleem, M. A. Hanan, and A. Arshad, “Media Representation of Women, Children and Minority Rights: Pakistani Public Response,” Journal of Political Studies, no. 1, 2017. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 20-Feb-2024].

S. Quattrini, Identity and Citizenship in Tunisia: The Situation of Minorities after the 2011 Revolution. Minority Rights Group International. 2018.

“In a world of crisis, Tunisia’s democracy marches on,” Washington post (Washington, D.C.: 1974), The Washington Post, 05-Nov-2019.

J. A. Mirza, “Religious minorities in ‘Naya Pakistan,’” The Diplomat, The Diplomat, 16-Mar-2020.

A. Madhavan, “Religious minorities fighting for survival in Pakistan,” Asian Lite, 2020.

K. Chaudhry, “Minorities ‘marginalized’ by Pakistan’s media,” UCA News, 05-Feb-2019. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 19-Feb-2024].

“‘Religious minorities facing issues today not highlighted by media,’” Dawn, DAWN.COM, 09-Dec-2019.

M.-M. Fuchs and S. W. Fuchs, “Religious minorities in Pakistan: Identities, citizenship and social belonging,” South Asia, vol. 43, no. 1, pp. 52–67, 2020.

I. Khalid and M. Rashid, “A Socio Political Status of Minorities in Pakistan,” Journal of Political Studies, vol. 26, no. 1, 2019.

R. Khan, “Shaharyar M. khan and Ali khan. Cricket cauldron: The turbulent politics of sport in Pakistan,” Asian Aff. (Lond.), vol. 45, no. 3, pp. 531–533, 2014.

S. Tariq, “The Role of Christians in the Freedom Movement of Pakistan: An Appraisal,” Pakistan Journal of Social Sciences (PJSS), no. 2, 2012.

D. Pk, “Humiliated and betrayed Christians,” Daily Times, 02-Mar-2018. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 20-Feb-2024]. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 20-Feb-2024].

P. Pamir, “Nationalism, ethnicity and democracy: Contemporary Manifestations,” International Journal of Peace Studies, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 3–19, 1997.

R. B. Rais, “Islamic radicalism and minorities in Pakistan. Religious radicalism and security in South Asia,” pp. 447–465, 2004.

Rizvi, Hasan. Military, state and society in Pakistan. Springer, 2000.

A. Raina, “Democrats and minority marginalization: The case of Pakistan,” Asian J. Polit. Sci., vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 206–226, 2014.

Jalal, Ayesha. Ideology and the Struggle for Democratic Institutions. na, 1997. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 20-Feb-2024].

“Living together in Tunisia,” Global Policy Journal. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 20-Feb-2024].

“Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index: Democracy in PPP, PML-N eras better than in present govt,” The News International, The News International, 23-Jan-2020.

“Why Pakistani lawmakers are barred from calling Imran Khan ‘selected’ prime minister,” Gulf News, Gulf News, 24-Jun-2019.

R. Tanveer, “‘Social media being used as tool against minorities,’” The Express Tribune, 22-Dec-2016. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 20-Feb-2024].

Helle, “Religious minorities overlooked in Pakistan’s mainstream media,” IMS, 04-Jul-2019. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 20-Feb-2024].

K. B. Sayeed, Politics in Pakistan: The nature and direction of change. Praeger Publishers, 1980.

Deutsche Welle, “Forced conversions,” Deutsche Welle, 30-Jul-2012. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 20-Feb-2024].

K. Chaudhry, “Pakistan Christians furious over TV drama,” UCA News, 29-Oct-2018. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 20-Feb-2024].

“Pakistan TV comedy ‘insults’ Christians,” UCA News, 17-Apr-2017. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 20-Feb-2024].

T. Isbell and M. N. B. Saad, Despite freedoms seen as growing, Tunisians show limited citizen engagement. 2020.

Information liberation Challenging the corruptions of information power Brian Martin. .

A. Rodriguez, “Reinventing Minority Media for the 21st Century: A Report of the Aspen Institute Forum on Diversity and the Media,” PO Box, vol. 222, 2000.

A. Mubeen and R. Qusien, “Minorities in Pakistan: Role of Pakistani Private TV Channels in Highlighting Minorities’ Rights,” Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, vol. 7, no. 2, 2017.




How to Cite

Jan Muhammad, & Awan Bt Ismail. (2024). Media Diversity and Representation of Religious Minorities in Pakistan’s Mainstream Media. International Journal of Social Sciences: Current and Future Research Trends, 21(1), 15–34. Retrieved from