Political Cartoonists versus Readers: Role of political cartoonists in Building Public Opinion and Readers' Expectations towards Print Media Cartoons in Pakistan

Ayesha Ashfaq, Adnan Bin Hussein


This study is an effort to explore the role of political cartoons in opinion building and the expectations of the readers towards the political print media cartoons in Pakistan. It further aims to know the perceptions of the cartoonists while portraying the issues and events by using artistic, satirical and unique medium of visual communication. It is a dual study that not only focuses upon the intentions of the cartoonists but also deals with the views of the readers and their expectations towards the medium. The researchers used in-depth interview method to conduct the interviews of the two famous cartoonists of Pakistan Javed Iqbal and Maxim, who make cartoons in the major newspapers Jang and Nawa-i-Waqt respectively, and survey method in order to examine the opinions of the readers, so the questionnaire is selected as a tool of data collection from readers. The researchers analyzed the data under the umbrella of social responsibility theory. This study concludes that political cartoonists are also influenced by ideology of the newspapers. Editors can block their publication if they want to. They are not as independent as they are considered to be as satirists. They do focus on the issues of the day and try to highlight those aspects which cannot be covered through other media content in order to shape the public opinion. On the other hand, the Pakistani public feels that cartoon communication is such a strong and powerful medium that it can be used for propaganda and publicity, the clear proof of which is the cartoon controversy regarding blasphemy in 2005, but in Pakistan, cartoonists use this medium rather unconstructively in order to make fun of the politicians.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2013.v4n3p265

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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