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Portrayal of Punjab Emergency Service Rescue 1122 in Leading Ur du Media of Pakistan (A Content Analysis of News Coverage of Nawai waqt and Express)
ISSN: 2165-7912
Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism
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Portrayal of Punjab Emergency Service Rescue 1122 in Leading Ur du Media of Pakistan (A Content Analysis of News Coverage of Nawai waqt and Express)

Hussain S1*, Naz AA2 and Shabir G3

1Department of Media Studies, Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Punjab, Pakistan

2Associate Professor and Former Director Institute of Communication Studies, University of Punjab-Lahore, Pakistan

3Professor and Chairman Media Studies Department, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Punjab, Pakistan

*Corresponding Author:
Hussain S
Department of Media Studies
Islamia University of Bahawalpur
Punjab, Pakistan
Tel: 9923016952742
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: January 16, 2015; Accepted Date: February 12, 2015; Published Date: February 20, 2015

Citation: Hussain S, Naz AA, Shabir G (2015) Portrayal of Punjab Emergency Service Rescue 1122 in Leading Urdu Media of Pakistan (A Content Analysis of News Coverage of Nawaiwaqt and Express). J Mass Communicat Journalism 5:243. doi:10.4172/2165-7912.1000243

Copyright: © 2015 Hussain S, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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This research aims to measure the Portrayal of the leading Pakistani Print Media pertaining to the image of Punjab Emergency Service (Rescue 1122) in view of the public opinion. This research paper also analyzes the image of aforesaid emergency service and may further show concern of elite Pakistani Urdu Media including Daily “Nawaiwaqt” and Daily “Express” regarding Rescue 1122, Punjab. The researchers have adopted Content Analysis as a quantitative research methodology. The data was collected through coding sheet from 2011–12. The data was analysed through Special Package for Social Science to ensure possible objectivity in the findings of the research and to minimize any type of ambiguity. The results have endorsed that the Pakistani Urdu Media has positively portrayed Rescue 1122. The findings of this research project have further endorsed that the chosen Urdu newspapers have given positive and neutral press coverage regarding Punjab Emergency Service as compared to negative news coverage. In short, the news coverage of both Urdu newspapers “Nawaiwaqt” and “Express” have shown Pakistani leading Urdu Media has positive tendency towards image and the role of emergency services delivery of the said Emergency Service in Punjab-Pakistan. Similarly, the findings of the study also strengthened the thesis that assumed as Daily Express gives more positive coverage as compared to Nawaiwaqt. Both of the newspapers also gave more positive and neutral coverage to the news related to emergency service–Rescue 1122 –published on all pages said newspapers.


Content analysis; Elite urdu media news coverage; Emergency services of Pakistan; Portrayal of image of rescue 1122

Introduction and Background

Emergency Rescue; Medical and Fire Services usually play a pivotal role in materialising the concept of establishing safe communities in a civilised and developed society across the world. Abdul Razzak Junaid and Arthur Kellermann explored that emergency medical services also play a key role in adopting preventive measures to ensure safety of human lives [1]. The World Disasters Report on Emergency Response Framework (2011) reported that globally around 700 natural and technological emergencies took place and affected estimated 270 million people by causing annual death toll to 130,000 annually. The report further stated that 25% of these emergencies, and 44% of these deaths, occurred in developing countries with limited resources of responding to such emergencies.

Daily The Nation, Pakistan (2014) reported that the Punjab Emergency Service has established an integrated emergency service infrastructure, which was necessary for live saving requirements and provided the citizens with the right to timely emergency care without any discrimination of caste; colour or creed.

Rizwan Naseer stated that the Punjab Emergency Service (Rescue 1122) was the largest emergency humanitarian service of Pakistan, spreading its infrastructure in all 36 districts of the Punjab province [2]. He further explored the same emergency service has ensured provision of basic right to timely emergency care to the citizens of Punjab; and through providing technical assistance for replication for the life-saving service to Khyber Pakhtunkhaw, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir of Pakistan.

According to The News International (2011), the director general, Punjab Emergency Service requested to the citizens to respect emergency number “1122” for the sake of a human life, as when prank calls made on this emergency number continue without giving respect to human life, it seriously affect the lives in danger [3]. He further asked the citizens to ensure avoiding disturbing this number, as prank callers usually deprive the emergency victims from basic right to timely emergency care in time of need. Erica Goldfine stated that social media had made significant importance regarding disaster and crisis communication. The researcher further suggested that the crisis communication experts should devised strategies to utilize social media for developing understanding of disasters and crisis communication [4]. Burkhart Ford stated that media including televisions; radio, and the print media are channels of communication and provide information to public about disasters and emergency situation [5]. Ford stated that news media certainly play a very positive role and portrays and fixes responsibility of the players on site of emergency. Ford further explored that media can play a significant role regarding providing information to the citizens, who can be affected or the decision makers, who can properly respond to that emergency situation.

Darrell Lankford stated that working of the media directly gave impacts with regard to functioning and their image in the media and public eyes [6]. He stated that the media men should be invited and brought to the emergency site and they may be provided accurate information so that they may further inform the citizens. Darrell explored that this act shall strengthen image of the emergency service; its functioning and impact of emergency management in public and media as well.

Significance of this research project

Many of the social scientists have opinionated that media industry has become a powerful tool of opinion building or shaping opinion of the public pertaining to any specific social or political issue. This opinion of the public is mostly measured through public survey and other techniques of the research assist to measure the opinion of the citizens about any issue. This research project is also an effort to analyse the mind-set and policy of the leading Urdu newspapers of Pakistan regarding emergency services of the country. This research may be helpful to understand the policy of the aforesaid newspapers in highlighting or undermining the role and functioning of the emergency services of Pakistan. The research also signifies the importance of existence of emergency services in any developed or especially in developing countries like Pakistan. Based on facts, the researchers have tried their best to analyse objectively the image of Emergency Service Rescue 1122 in leading Pakistani Urdu Media. The research project is helpful and develops understanding about purpose; functioning and responsibilities of the emergency service, upon which the aforementioned newspapers highlighted their role and ultimate public perception about such emergency services in Pakistan.

Literature Review

Anne Eyre (2014) stated that the media plays very imperative role during emergency management, as in fact it was the media, which decide the ultimate image of the emergency services in public mind [7]. Anne further stated that media highlight the functioning of the emergency services as per its policy or mind-set, and portray their image accordingly from which public perception is built.

Joe Hight, and Frank Smyth stated that the working of journalists and rescue workers is directly interlinked; as both depend on each other in order to discharge their duties honestly and motivation [8]. They stated that rescue workers respond to emergencies and media men start highlighting their efforts regarding that emergency, which may be a fire case; medical incident or drowning emergency. Joe and Frank stated that media rely on rescue workers regarding information and details of the incident and similarly rescue workers rely on media in order to sustain their motivation level and trust of the public by assistance of media, which highlight their efforts overwhelmingly.

Shaw Ideta and Takeuchi stated that the communication made by the media can protect government functions and protect lives and properties of the citizens during disasters and emergencies [9]. This kind of communication process often reflects the image of the rescue workers discharging their duties during disasters. Shaw and Takeuchi further stated that usually communication systems send warnings to the public for public safety and empower and guide rescue services for search of the possible emergency victims, besides giving information to emergency-hit families for safety of their family members.

Barbara Rynolds; Julia Hunter Glado and Lynn Sokler stated that crisis and emergency risk communication benefits all the stakeholders related to the emergency management and the public [10]. They stated that the crisis and emergency risk communication was a successful effort to encourage and empower the experts of media or emergency management to provide with information of disasters asking the relevant stakeholder, or even the entire community to make decision for rescue and response for well-being of the society. Barbara; Julia and Sokler further explored that this crisis and emergency risk communication process also empowers in shaping public opinion about working of emergency services.

According to the Hartford Loss Control Department (2000), the emergency services must develop an effective policy statement to develop positive media relations clearly reflecting the emergency management organization’s commitment to deal with the emergencies [11]. The department further stated that while devising the policy statement of the organization the purpose and objectives of media relations programs; roles and responsibilities for media team should be clearly mentioned but this media strategy or policy statement should be fully endorsed by the senior management of the rescue and response department.

Peter. M. Sandman, stated that usually when any organization finalizes the emergency communication policy, the organization has to counter different kinds of problems, as sometime non-relevant persons like politicians try to get central role during the crisis or disaster [12]. Therefore, Sandman suggested the organization should adopt recommended suggestions for devising emergency communication policy and properly draft community program including crisis communication strategies; answers to journalists’ questions and most importantly the information and details about the crisis.


1. To analyze the image of PES (Rescue 1122) in Pakistani Print Media.

2. To examine the portrayal of image of the PES through Urdu Print Media.

3. To analyze the overall portrayal of PES through Urdu Print Media.


Daily Nawaiwaqt portrays more positive image of the Punjab Emergency Service (Rescue 1122) as compared to Daily Express [2].

Theoretical Framework: For inter-connecting different variables in order to provide solid ground to this research study for proper arrangement of the research questions; hypothesis and data collection process, the researcher based this study on Agenda Setting Theory.

Agenda Setting Theory: This is the prime responsibility of the free press to provide accurate information to public so that they may understand things and may reorganize them accordingly. However, the main issue, which has been discussed in details by several social scientists, is how media portray the image of the any organization or department while reporting on specific event. This is a matter of concern, as the media in developing countries portray image of the organizations according to its policies or influence, ultimately, it has to give specific picture to any event. Therefore, agenda setting theory provides foundation to such media groups and channels, which work and portray image, in accordance of their policies etc. etc. Mass media usually focus on public and social issues and on-air the news from different angles. This kind of angling also falls under agenda-setting theory.

Rogers; Dearing and Bregman collected and analysed some 200 articles about agenda setting in the social science literature after publication of seminal article of McCombs and Shaw since 1972 [13]. They explored that first trend of agenda-setting research was rapidly expanded beyond its original theoretical domain, which was the interface of the mass media agenda and the public agenda. The first phase was started with publication of McCombs and Shaw in 1972, while the second was to investigate the contingent conditions that enhance or sometime limit media agenda-setting [14].

Paul Joseph Cohen [15] described that sometime media give opportunity the people what to think but while speaking in the context of agenda setting, the media usually force the people what to think about. In this regard, a specific aspect is provided by the media or the media focused on specific aspect and virtually force the public about that aspect of the event.

McCombs and Weaver used “agenda-setting” term first time in 1972 during their research study, in which 100 interviews of undecided voters were conducted through random sampling in city of Chapel Hill, USA [14]. They described that the media had provided public specific issues and on aired them repeatedly related to upcoming election (1968) General Election. After conducting the study, they explored the respondents (undecided voters) gave importance to those issues, which were highlighted by the media and undermined the issues, which were genuine but neglected by the media. McCombs and Shaw further opinionated that media often sets agenda for the public.

Walter Lippmann’s phrase, “the pictures in our heads,” also explained that the agenda of issues or other objects described by the news media is reflected what the pictures in our heads and what they depict. Lippmann further descried that the pictures in our minds are directly influenced by the pictures about any issue highlighted by the news media.

In the study under hand, the researchers tried their best to know how media (Nawaiwaqt & Express) portrayed the image of the Punjab Emergency Service (Rescue 1122). The researchers found agenda setting theory best to analyse the co-relation of agenda setting of these two leading Pakistani Urdu Newspapers about the aforesaid emergency service.


The researchers adopted Content Analysis as a research methodology for this project. For the data collection and data analysis, the researchers used descriptive statistics to find out the quantity of the news coverage about the Punjab Emergency Service (Rescue 1122) in aforesaid leading Pakistani Urdu newspapers [2].

Data analysis

The Table 1 shows that overall 19 news items were published in Daily Nawaiwaqt as compared to total 31 news items published in Daily Express in 2011. The comparative content analysis shows that Daily Nawaiwaqt carried total 05 positive news items as compared to 08 positive news items published in Daily Express, with total percentage of 26 and 25 respectively. Likewise, total two negative news items were published in Daily Express, whereas no negative news item was published in Daily Nawaiwaqt during this period, with increase of 6.45 per cent. However, overall 21 neutral news items were published in Daily Express, whereas 14 neutral news items were carried by Daily Nawaiwaqt. The statistical description shows that 73.68 per cent neutral news was reported in Nawaiwaqt as compared to 67.74 per cent published in Daily Express during the said period.

Sr. No. Category Nawaiwaqt %age Express %age
1 Positive 05 26.31 08 25.81
2 Negative 0   2 6.45
3 Neutral 14 73.68 21 67.74
Total 19   31  

Table 1: Comparative Distribution of News about Rescue 1122 from Jan 2011 to Dec 2011.

The Table 2 shows that overall 21 news items were carried out by Daily Nawaiwaqt and 28 in Daily Express from January 01, 2012 till December 31, 2012. Total 15 positive news items were published in Daily Express as compared to 05 in Daily Nawaiwaqt with increase of 30 per cent in Daily Express. Likewise, total 12 neutral news items were published in Daily Express as compared to 11 in Daily Nawaiwaqt, with minor increase.

Sr. No. Category Nawaiwaqt %age Express %age
1 Positive 05 23.80 15 53.57
2 Negative 05 23.80 01 3.57
3 Neutral 11 52.38 12 42.85
Grand Total 21   28  

Table 2: Comparative Distribution of News about Rescue 1122 from Jan 2012 to Dec 2012.

The Table 3 shows that overall 40 news items were published in Daily Nawaiwaqt and 59 news stories related to the Punjab Emergency Service (Rescue 1122) were published in Daily Express from January 01, 2011 till December 31, 2012.

• Total 10 positive news stories were published in Daily Nawaiwaqt as compared to 23 published in Daily Expressed during this time, with increase of 14 percent in Daily Express.

• Total five negative news items were published in Daily Nawaiwaqt as compared to 03 in Daily Express in two years with slighter difference of 6.4 percent.

• Total 25 news stories were published in Daily Nawaiwaqt as compared to 33 published in Daily Express with minor increase of percentage.

Sr. No. Category Daily Nawaiwaqt %age Daily Express %age
1 Positive 10 25 23 39
2 Negative 05 12.5 03 5.1
3 Neutral 25 62.5 33  56
Grand Total 40   59  

Table 3: Overall comparative distribution of News Coverage about Rescue 1122 from January 2011 to December 2012.

Findings and Discussion

After collecting the data and analyzing all the data including news releases/items about Punjab Emergency Service published in leading Pakistani newspapers, the researchers have collected several findings given in following fashion:

1. Daily Nawaiwaqt gave more neutral coverage to Punjab Emergency Service (Rescue 1122) in 2011, as compared to Daily Express.

2. Daily Express gave more positive coverage to PES (Rescue 1122) as compared to Nawaiwaqt during this time period.

3. The percentage shows that Daily Nawaiwaqt gave 25 per cent while Daily Express gave 39 percent positive coverage to Rescue 1122.

4. Likewise, Nawaiwaqt gave 12 percent while Express gave 5 percent negative coverage to Rescue 1122.

5. The neutral coverage given by Nawaiwaqt was 62.5 percent while Express gave 56 percent to Rescue 1122.

6. Overall, both the newspapers gave positive and neutral coverage and portrayed positive image of the Punjab Emergency Service (Rescue 1122) during the above said specified time period.

7. The tendency of portraying negative image of the Rescue 1122 remained very low, as the both leading newspapers highlighted soft and positive image of the Emergency Service.


The research study showed that both leading newspapers Daily Express and Daily Nawaiwaqt portrayed the image of the Emergency Service positively and neutral rather than negative. The results further showed that Daily Express remained more progressive giving positive coverage to the Rescue 1122 Emergency Services as compared to Nawaiwaqt, but the tendency of new coverage of the both of the leading Urdu newspapers remained positive and neutral towards portraying of the image of the Punjab Emergency Service (Rescue 1122). The results analysed through Special Package for Social Sciences, however, gave reverse findings as per set hypothesis in which the researchers had intellectually guessed that Daily Nawaiwaqt gives more positive coverage as compared to Daily Express. According to the findings, Daily Express gave more positive coverage to the emergency services and portrayed its image more positively. The overall tendency of both leading Urdu Newspapers also remained positive towards the emergency services, even they went on to guide the management of the emergency services for improvements and fill the gaps.


This is true that I would have never been able to carry out this research if Sajjad Ali & Mian Javed, PhD Scholars, in Institute of Communication Studies, University of the Punjab, Muhammad Farouq Gillani & Rao Zahid Madni, M. Phil Scholars, Media Studies Department, Islamia University of Bahawalpur, had not extended their cooperation with me. Also, Prof. Dr. Sajjad Ahmed Paracha, Associate Professor, and Mr. Wajid Ali Khan, Assistant Professor, Media Studies Department, Islamia University of Bahawalpur, proved as my helping hand.


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