Media Watch | Updates & Introduction

Jul 1. 2014 – These are the types of sources and the number of instances of these sources in the English language news media, local and international, as it covers the latest army operation in North Waziristan. Check out our first, second and third posts.

NB: These charts update as we add new data. We update once a day. Want to make suggestions? Spot a mistake? Send us feedback! Post in the comments below or write to us at


We counted up instances of sources, that is, we counted up the number of times a given category of source appears in a news article. Given the standards of modern journalism, a typical English language news story usually cites one source per paragraph (grafs), which are intended as brief, digestible nuggets in a quickly-read news item. We counted the number of grafs per source. For example, if a news story says:

 “The operation had been named Zarb-e-Azb,” said an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement on Sunday.

“Using North Waziristan as a base, these terrorists had waged a war against the state of Pakistan and had been disrupting our national life in all its dimensions, stunting our economic growth and causing enormous loss of life and property.”

“They had also paralysed life within the agency and had perpetually terrorised the entire peace loving and patriotic local population,” the statement quoted DG ISPR Maj Gen Asim Bajwa as saying.

He said, “Our valiant armed forces have been tasked to eliminate these terrorists regardless of hue and color, along with their sanctuaries.”

We count that as 4 instances of security sources. This method allows us to understand the relative weight given to each source. A news story may cite one military official and one civilian making the story appear neutral if we simply counted the number of officials and civilians. But, that story may have given 10 grafs to the official and one paltry line to the civilian, making the actual news item favor one source over another.

We used several local and international English language news reporting to build our data beginning with reportage on June 14, 2014, a day before the latest operation was launched.

Local media outlets:Dawn, Express Tribune and The News. 

International news media outlets: The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Guardian and The Telegraph. 

The categories in the charts are as follows:
  • State | Security – security officials; ISPR; military; police
  • State | Civilian – government officials (local, provincial and central); ministers; the political administration of FATA; politicians, political party statements
  • Insurgents – statements by militants; militant groups; spokesmen
  • Experts – analysts; experts; journalists (local and international); media outlets; US government officials; aid agencies and NGOs. (In this case, we came across several instances where news items cited other media outlets or other journalists as sources for the claims in the story.)
  • FATA residents – locals; tribal chiefs; jirga members; IDPs
  • Other  – unnamed and uncategorized sources

We expect to build similar data for Urdu language reporting, shortly.


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21 Responses to Media Watch | Updates & Introduction

  1. […] local and international, as it covers the latest army operation in North Waziristan. Check out our introduction with updating charts and our […]

  2. TQ Chāt | # 10 | Tanqeed on Jun 2014 at 8:05 PM

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  3. […] as shown by the data collected by Tanqeed, the voices of residents from FATA stand at a dismal 10 percent as […]

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