The Development Imperative: Media to Engage, Educate, Empower


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The Development Imperative: Media to Engage, Educate, Empower

April 1, 2022

The Role of Media in Development: Engagement, Education, Empowerment

The word media, originating from the Latin ‘medius’, speaks to the quality of being ‘in between’. Thus, media implies the relaying of information between the source and the public, between the news itself and its eager audience.

Today, in many ways, the role of the audience is not as passive as it once was. The public participates in media, and even creates it, especially in the wake of social media and the popularity of online publishing platforms open to the public. In this way, communication through media has ceased to be topdown, and has shifted to include many more voices from the grassroots.

Pakistan is no different. Over the years, the country’s media landscape has evolved from overwhelmingly printfocused with a smattering of stateowned enterprises, to a diverse representation of different voices, regions, and opinions.

With wider penetration of TV over the past two decades, newspaper circulation has seen a steady decline. According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the number of newspapers and periodicals in the country declined from 1039 in 2009, to 707 in 2019. Easy accessibility of internet over mobile has fostered internet penetration, which stood at 54 percent in 2021, increasing by 21 percent from 2020. Likewise, the number of social media users in Pakistan increased by nine million between 2020-2021, and stood at 71.70 million in January 2022.

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