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A Systematic Inquiry of Media Efficacy in Pakistan with Respect to Government Accountability

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Abstract

This research article was intended for finding the role of media in fostering government accountability in Pakistan. Furthermore, the mediating role of political parties was also checked through mediation analysis. This study utilized the information brought together through a structured adapted questionnaire among the participants of this study chosen through probability sampling technique from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. It was revealed that through the analysis of the primary data that there is a considerable association found between media and government accountability. Furthermore, it was also proved that the media could significantly predict accountability. The data also revealed that people believed that political parties have a significant mediating role between media and government accountability. This study concluded that the media revolution in the advent of new kinds of media, conventional and non-conventional, has also had a profound impact on government accountability.

 

Key Words

Conventional Media, New Media, Accountability, Political Parties   

Introduction

Within several decades, the world has witnessed an unprecedented spread of democracy and democratic values all over the world. On the other hand, there are several new democratic states which are facing some of the major standards and norms considered as basic ingredients of democratic set up such as intermittent voting measures, rampant corruption, inefficient, incompetent, sluggish and despotic method of governance. Furthermore, Pakistan is also one of those democracies which lack true democracies where disparity, as well as poverty, continues to be one of the harsh obstacles to comprehensive people’s selfdetermination (Ashraf & Yasir, 2015). The democratic experiences have exposed that an efficient and accountable representative government needs considerable time and effort to develop into a viable democratic state, and the same is the case with Pakistan. In the current prevailing scenario, the scholars of democracies pointed towards the significant role of media in consolidating democracy in Pakistan.

Media, conventional as well as new, is one of the important sources of knowledge and has proved itself a viable connection between the people and the government. It has also proved its importance in creating awareness among people about government responsibilities and their role in accountability. The daily talk shows, news and social media apps create continuous mechanisms to hold the government responsible for the policies, the political decisions, happenings, and their policies which have a profound impact on people’s lives. In fact, through this medium of interaction, the political parties, including the opposition and treasury benches along with the civil society as well as independent observers and the common people, may convey their opinions about the performance of the government and can even check the performance of the representative political system. The importance of this medium of connection has proved itself as a ‘Fourth Estate,’ in the society where people have voices and connections between the government and society still exist, and this term shows its importance along with other branches of government to put checks and balances to monitor the working of the government and stop any type of misuse or abuse of power by the government (Robert et al., 2004).

The aim of this article is to dig out that how much role media is playing in bringing change in the government’s accountability in Pakistan. Besides, to measure the masses’ perceptions of association between media and governmental accountability. And to know the role of political parties in and media and governmental accountability. A survey has been conducted in this connection from the sample of 385 employees of universities colleges.

 

Accountability

Accountability models are resultant from the two most important bodies of theoretical writings; Principal-Agent theory as well as Theories of Moral responsibility. Even though the models emphasize diverse factors in the procedure of holding different important actors answerable, they are not essentially unable to get along with each other.

Model named Principal-agent put forward associations in which the principal (such as a voter) chooses an agent (a local official or representative) to decide measures that promote the interests of the principal. The association between the agent and the principal is conceptualized as a relationship based on a particular contract between these two independent actors. Commonly established conditions of the agreement on the jobs and tasks for which the principal holds the agent answerable. Whether the principal can essentially hold the agent answerable based on whether the principal has means and conducts of putting into effect that particular contract.

Authors have used the agency theory to form the circumstances under which agents of the government might supplement the accountability in the course of making their measures more observable to the voters. The consequences of accountability as a balance situation, as well as a Set of the instrument used at what time accountability as a balance stop working and the costs of efficiently carrying out approval instruments when people have the wrong information.

It is a matter of fact, in contrast to accountability’s models of Principal-Agent that center of attention on the subject of Contract option, Information asymmetries, and Mechanisms intended for discharging as well as punishing agents. However, on the other hand, theories of moral accountability plus group unity have to focus their attention on the conduct in which groups plus society sets up obligations in addition to compulsions designed for their associates. Hope and standards recognized by the group settle on the everyday jobs for which factions hold associates answerable.

The concept of accountability, in social and especially in political science, is about the recognition of official responsibilities about a specific role and the existence of punishment for not completing their tasks and duties assigned to them. Suppose there is an actor, A, which is accountable and answerable to B when according to Schedler, ‘A’ has the responsibility to inform the actor B about A’s activities and decisions having consequences, to give a good reason for those activities and decisions, and to experience serious consequences in the case of ultimate bad behavior.

Accountability demands keeping an eye on the actions, forwarding good reasons for those actions, in addition to that the enforcement of excellent conduct. The answerability is known as a part of the monitoring and justification aspect of accountability, which involves the power to question the actors in any political system about what they have done so, and for what reason they have done so. The answerability has an argumentative and informational dimension, and both need accurate information and an effective system of transparency of actions. The act of accountability not only requiring answers for their actions but also compels the actors to behave decently and appropriately. All this needs institutions, whether formal or informal, to enforce the good behavior of citizens to fulfil the official responsibilities of the people they are destined to carry them out. These institutions need some sort of punishing mechanism which compels the people to do well, but on the other hand, if they do not have such a mechanism, they could not implement good behavior.

Accountability, such as public, political or governmental, is come under the jurisdiction of different actors in the societies or the citizens to hold the officials and the government agents accountable for their actions. Efficient institutions responsible for holding the government officials and the government itself identify the official duties of the government’s agents, the establishment of the sense of duty in the official agents to perform their tasks, in addition to that to produce encouragements that inspire government officials to take steps in the interests of the common people, punishing those officials when they follow their vested interests as well as rewarding them to following the common people’s interests. Furthermore, it is believed that political accountability is, in the real sense, concerning the need plus the aptitude to bring under control the governmental powers. A number of identified political accountability to comprise merely associations in which officials of the government have an officially authorized compulsion to respond to those establishing them accountable or answerable, plus that those holding officials of the public accountable or answerable have an officially permitted right to inflict sanctions. Others note that actors are sanctioned through either proper institutions or an unofficial set of laws to authorize as well as reward government officials for their actions.

 

Social Accountability

Another type of citizens’ participation in carrying out accountability of the government officials is known as informal accountability and social accountability. Through these mechanisms, citizens keep a vigilant eye over the government activities, and if there is some lapse over their activities, they impose sanctions and even impose punishments through different mechanisms. The scholar has studied these mechanisms and revealed that states like Japan and South Korea, in the Asian region, have the best-institutionalized mechanisms of control over the official duties, whereas some states like Indonesia and India have also followed that way of social or informal accountability of the government officials.

The government in the Philippines has enforced the mechanisms of informal or social accountability at all levels. In the Philippines, the important formal measures of accountability now comprised of the “Right to Information,” (RTI) right of the citizens to initiate a referendum on important issues related to the public goods and public hearings regarding significant decisions, the establishment of the local councils at the level of villages, and the citizen’s right to petition to prioritize debate for the important legislation. Despite the far-reaching improvements — both unofficial and official endeavors to raise the informational systems — follow-through has been deficient and imperfect. The law is undecided concerning in what way or manner the public hearings should be accomplished and includes no requirements designed for notice of hearings. The government system at the local levels is not obligatory to make public that information.

The Indonesian government has also followed the same way, if more steady, course of action as the Philippines government did. Rising from a dictatorial regime, it wanted to augment accountability through the methods and processes of devolution and decentralization. The formal processes at the improvement of the administrative level also have resulted in progress in the recent era in the nation, particularly in April 2008 the government introduced the delayed Freedom of Information Act. This particular law demands that different institutions at the level of bureaucracy hold biannual public information messages and also at the appointed time distribute information concerning the interests of the general public. This bill was supported and acknowledged by the World Bank (WB) along with the civil society of the country and different NGOs. Additional important actions comprised the laws related to reducing and curtailing corruption through different laws. Similar to the case of the Philippines, in Indonesia, these measures were also supported by the active advocacy of international human rights and other organizations.

Similar to a lot of other countries in the region of Southeast Asia, Thailand had an extensive history of armed oppression. The country’s 1997 constitution was an opportunity to put into practice the progressive reforms in the country. Some of the groups from the civil society performed a momentous function in drafting that constitution, and for those reasons, constitutional provisions incorporated seven novel institutions regarding accountability. At the same time, as the characteristic of the social, decentralized in addition to informational accountability leaning reform course are present in Thailand, bureaucratic mores have established themselves hard to shatter.

Pakistan’s procedures of accountability have been for most of the social in addition to informational diversity. Formal accountability procedures comprise provisions regarding the RTI. Furthermore, the government in Pakistan has put into practice measures of accountability in a tremendously decentralized system. Diverse factions among the civil society have employed this enormous decentralization to convey the government, plus accountability measures, closer to the citizens. For the most part, significant push within Pakistan to encourage local and community involvement in guiding principles and to attempt through NGOs at those arenas. Added measures of accountability fluctuate from state to state.

 

Administrative Accountability

Nevertheless, all the democratic and undemocratic governments obliged a responsibility to convey minimum public goods, to evade well-known social instability; electoral democracy makes available tough institutional inspiration meant for political representatives to be held accountable to the masses. This demonstrates that there is a type of association between the government as well as the people. The people can merely efficiently make use of their authority to put into effect good governance if they have immaculate information from the different sources of media. Since the media are the most important information source as well as a very important connection between the people and the rulers, thus media is a very important form of holding the officials of government accountable for their what they say and what they do (Terngu, 2010). It is believed that the media can be anticipated to make available an opportunity or place where extensive kinds of people from the parties of the opposition, the groups from the civil society, and also the common people, most probably communicate their conflicting and contradictory points of views (Mcquail, 2003). Media is placed collectively with the other government’s branches or executive as far as the responsibility of checks and balances on the affairs of the state officials and keeping in view the demands of the common people. It is important to mention here that these important media’s roles are founded on the supposition that this medium only can act in the common people’s interest (Voltmer, 2007).

Accountability is defined as one of the essential principles or standards of any effective and viable political and democratic system (Hayllar, 2000). In fact, according to the democratic standards and principles, every citizen of any democratic state is believed to enjoy similar political rights as well as some benefits from the policies initiated by the government. Yes, in a democratic polity, the political as well as administrative officers are accountable and answerable regarding their actions, deeds and actions to the general public and also for their delegated powers as well as everyday jobs. The absence of these political principles and standards may perhaps dispossess the political and democratic structure of its authenticity and legality among the masses (Wang, 2013).

Every part of the democratic political system and government stand overtly answerable and accountable to the general public regarding their bestowed powers as well as duties (Aucoin & Jarvis, 2000). The accountability’s significance among the masses has been greater than ever before because of their aspiration designed for enhanced and improved living standards, passionate reply utilizing the officials of the state in the course of efficient masses’ involvement in the political affairs of the state. The conventional as well as a contemporary medium of communications, such as diverse facets of Social Media, create consciousness, awareness, and understanding on the subject of the significance of democracy, political activism, in addition to holding the government accountable for its functions and actually, these are the most significant features of an effective and viable political and democratic system (Milakovich, 2008).

In the end, it can be true that the issues related to government officials’ accountability have to get recognition from the general public with time (Hayllar, 2000:60). It is also emphasized that holding the office of the government accountable is seriously important in support of increasing the public sector’s progress and development, and it is also important for the execution of service regulations as well as regulations of their behavior. This system of accountability can also carry out a very important part in producing and establishing the principles and standards of sincerity, integrity, and honesty amid the government officials, and at the same time, it can discourage the abuse of powers by these officials (Jensen, 2000). It is recognized without any doubt that the accountability of the government officials in a true way can improve the government’s authority among the general public and masses that may perhaps show the way to the masses’ devotion and obedience to state rules as well as policies (Bovens, 2010).

 

Facets of media

Conventional Media: the Print Media   

Usually, print media, a facet of Conventional Media (CM), which comes under the Conventional Media, is observed as a forum for the masses’ discussions and deliberations, and these are focused on a variety of issues that existed in the social or political spectrums. The fundamental rationale behind the political significance of the newspapers is for the reason that it is read by the elevated group of the social order plus experts (Craig, 2007). If we look at the historical background, newspapers are considered as a reliable source of knowledge and information about the political and social issues going around us and among the political circles. These magazines and newspapers attract the concentration of the person who reads as its center of attention is the every political, social, and economic issue and the performance of the existing government and their officials. The readers of the Urdu language newspapers are in a high number as compared to other language newspapers in Pakistan (Azam, 2008). As a result, the print media makes available to an ordinary man genuine and real-time information and knowledge regarding the government and its officials’ activities and policies. It is also useful in getting ready the common people to hold the government and its officials responsible and accountable (Ashraf & Yasir, 2015). It is a very useful facet of media.   

 

Non-Conventional Media: Social Media (Sm)

The development of the internet plus its connected other technological developments have transformed this medium of communication, media, as it makes available information as well as news in a novel manner. It is right to say that it has made old substance decisive that creates a centre of attention through the voters in electoral campaigns and election processes as well. SM has done it simply for the masses, particularly the youth, to observe the political issues in new, simple as well as speedy methods. It has provided the masses with the greatest chances to communicate themselves plus obtain rapid along with dependable information and knowledge due to the introduction of novel developments in SM, for example, online blogs, videos, podcasts, and most important as academic ones which are an online video conference. These important tools of communication demonstrate to be supportive in understanding the issues going on in social and political arenas. Facebook (FB) has become known as the most excellent instrument intended for communication about social and political issues where masses make use of shared social and political videos, post their observations, and remarks about the issues in social and political arenas. FB demonstrated to be an incredibly significant instrument to appraise and assess the government and their official’s performances (Owen, 2008) critically.

SM is regarded as a powerful instrument of communication used in Pakistan in five diverse ways that comprise flouting news not shown by another medium of communications, encouraging and inspire masses in favor of societal, political, and added activities; stressing and highlighting the issues of Human Rights; creating a sense of awareness among masses in support of social rationales; plus prompt and quick communication amid leaders in the political and social arenas and the most important part of our society, the common people (Kugelman, 2012). British Broadcast Corporation (BBC) carried out a study in 2013, and this study revealed that SM is doing its job in a good way to holding the officials of the government and the government more accountable as well as more conscientious and painstaking (Shabir & Gillani, 2014).

More or less, all the well-liked politicians in Pakistan has some sort of social media account to communicate their policies, views, and messages to their supporters and the general masses. The politicians in the country more often than not make use of Twitter accounts. Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Imran Khan is, according to recent estimates, has more than 300,000 followers. Furthermore, the former Chief Minister and President of Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz (PML-N) Shahbaz Sharif, the former Chief Minister of the largest province in terms of population and influence, and the former interior minister Rehman Malik are followed by almost 35000 Whatsapp users (Kugelman, 2012). PTI, the current ruling party in the country, considers that SM established itself as a low cost as well as a simple instrument designed for political campaigns during and after or before the elections. An extremely experienced member of the parliament supposed that they collect criticism and response from constituency members or the common people through Twitter on the subject of planned legislation in the parliament. Another parliamentarian from the opposition political party nowadays said that his political party makes use of SM to assess observations of the common people. He argued that such type of observation they carried out regarding the violence in Karachi.        

Treem’s (2015) study expanded the current effort discovered the affordances of social media in institutes by taking into consideration in what way the SM may perhaps also function as accountability’s technologies. However, he argued that this point of view approved a performative vision of social media utilize in institutes as well as be acquainted with that the technologies not merely show contacts to managerial associates but besides, in doing so, capacity augment the workers’ answerability. Treem (2015) utilized a case study of the execution of a system of SM within an economic or monetary services corporation; this particular study discovers in what way the workers see social media in terms of a variety of account types. His results disclose that before the execution of the system of SM, workers uttered apprehensions regarding the accountability SM would produce; in addition to that, the unwillingness to face the accountability connected through interactions showed the way to little utilization of the different facets of SM.

SM, generally known as a group of technologies that usually comprises wikis, blogs, social networking websites, microblogs, in addition to the social tagging, are frequently clustered together in different scholarly works under the name Web 2.0 (Scholz, 2008; Koch, 2008; Warr, 2008). Even though this tag entails these technologies correspond to several kinds of innovation as well as evolutionary progression, work assuming this 2.0 structure frequently is unsuccessful to particularly describe the name (Fuchs-Kittowski et al., 2009). However, to make the available quality of belonging or relating uniquely to a particular subject distinguishing these technologies based on the internet, McAfee (2009) depicted Web 2.0 application as the stage that makes possible free as well as straightforward communication, be deficient in a forced arrangement such as a proper workflow, as well as permit structure to come out through networked links. McAfee (2009) invent the expression “Enterprise 2.0,” that he described as the utilization of growing social software forums by institutes in chasing their objectives (McAfee, 2009, 73). Up till now, if something, the appreciation that institutes have implemented SM for strategic motives has confused the conversation of the character of these skills and types of equipment as people strive to reunite SM with the organizations’ job orientation (Warr, 2008).

Though, the system of SM allocates several scientific features utilizing skills that have survived for many years in institutes, for example, the email, immediate messaging, common folder repositories, as well as intranets. Other scholars have opined that it is not the features in seclusion that build SM exceptional, however to a certain extent, the ways those features are utilized to make available improved chances intended for organizational communication’s authorship through workers, as well as additional flexible ways designed for persons to show plus attach substance (McAfee, 2009).

It is a matter of fact that in an attempt to make available some clearness about the research on the SM in institutes, Treem and Leonardi (2012) contended in opposition to a definitional approach to the SM that classified technologies grounded on joint technological characteristics. Illustrating on affordances approach towards the technology (Zammuto et al., 2007; Leonardi & Barley, 2008), both of them promoted for a vision that measured ways that these types of equipment made available prospects intended for people to exchange words in ways that would have been complicated and hard or not possible otherwise. In particular, Treem and Leonardi opined that SM utilizes meet the expense of personnel the chance used for communication that helps and encourages great visibility, diligence, alterability, as well as connection. Even though current communication technologies and types of equipment may perhaps make available a few of these affordances nevertheless, both of them also contended that SM is illustrious through presenting them everything in combination.

 

Statistical Evidences

Correlation: Pearson-R Correlation Coefficient

Table 1. Overall Correlation Results

 

 

CON

N-CON

Pol-Parties

Accountability

r

.947**

.897**

.944**

p

.000

.000

.000

N

385

385

385

**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).

 

          Conventional or traditional media, such as TV; Newspapers and radio, etc., have a significant, strong, and positive correlation with fostering accountability, according to the data collected from the participants of this research.

          The correlation analysis conducted by the scholar revealed that the numerical data collected from the participants of this research established that Non-Conventional Media, or non-Traditional media such as Facebook; Whatsapp; Twitter, and Instagram, was found significant,  positive and strong.

          The correlation between the roles of Political Parties in fostering Accountability in Pakistan. The association between Political Parties was found significant, positive, and strong.

 

Cause & Effect Relationship (Role of Media on Fostering Accountability)

To identify the cause and effect association amid the independent variable, Media, and the dependent variable, Accountability, the scholar employed the linear regression method of analysis by means of SPSS version 24. To test the hypothesis, the scholar formulated the hypothesis:

H02: The attributes of Political Awareness don’t significantly predict the Outcome variable.

The complete review of the linear regression analysis is mentioned below:

 

Table 2. Linear Regression

Model

Conventional Media

Non-Conventional Media

R2 = 0.961, 96.1 % or 96 % contributing in fostering Accountability

.673 (.000) **

.319 (.000) **

**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).

 

From the results of the multiple linear regression analysis mentioned above, the scholar revealed that:

·         Approximately 96 % change can be attributed to the media alone in fostering accountability, owing to the information based on the opinions of the views of the participants of this research.

·         The standardized coefficient beta values exposed that major part of the variance can be credited to the Conventional Media (β = .673; p < .01) as compared to the variation can be attributed to the Non-Conventional Media (β = .319; p < .01).

·         It was established that both the predictors were significantly predicting the media’s role in fostering accountability in the country.

 

Mediation Analysis (Role of Political Parties in Improving the Media’s Role in Fostering Accountability).

The scholar utilized the public perception, collected through questionnaires, to understanding the role of political parties in enhancing the media’s role in fostering accountability. SPSS version 24 was used to help explain this mediation analysis. The hypothesis mentioned below was formulated to test this relationship.

H03: Political Parties has no significant mediating role between media in fostering accountability.

The authors calculated the relative strength of the mediated effect using the beta coefficients that were associated with the paths in the mediation model utilized by the scholar. This was computed as the ratio of the strength of the indirect effect on the strength of the direct effect and was calculated as follows:

          The strength of the indirect effect was the product of the beta coefficients associated with paths Predictor variable (Media) to Mediator (Political Parties) and Mediator (Political Parties) to the Outcome variable or Criterion variable (Accountability) (paths d and e) in the mediated model. Here it was equal to (0.953) * (0.334), or 0.318.

          The strength of the isolated direct effect was the beta coefficient in the unmediated model (with a value of 0.959), where the media was the single predictor of the Criterion or Outcome variable (Accountability). It can also be calculated as the sum of the indirect effect and the beta coefficient for predictor (Media) predicting Outcome variable (Accountability) in the mediated model (path f): 0.318 + 0.641, or 0.959.

          The relative strength of the mediated effect was equal to the indirect effect divided by the direct effect. Here it was equal to 0.318/0.959, or 0.331.

It has been concluded that about a third (33.1%) of the effect of media on government accountability was mediated through political parties.

 

Discussion

This article was aimed at finding the role of media in governmental accountability. For this purpose, the primary kind of first-hand information was required. The scholar used an adapted questionnaire to bring together the information from the participants of this research article selected through probability sampling technique from all over the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province. 385 respondents took part in this study, and results were based primarily on these results, which were further checked and aligned with the different studies conducted in the country and all over the world about this issue. The data collection instrument was an adapted one, which was further passed through different validity tests to be reliable.

In the current study, due to the nature of the study, the positivism philosophy applied, which enables us to explain the issue through numerical findings. In this type of research philosophy, the reality is independent of the observer or researcher; it means that the researcher or observer do not have any type of influence on the information gathered and present them as it is. Quantitative methodology, such as the Survey method, was utilized to help us understand this important issue. The survey was conducted all over the KP. Then before conducting the survey, the authors explored the qualitative nature of data to understand the issue through different theories and other information about the role of media in fostering government accountability. After an all-embracing evaluation of the past works, authors found that Political Parties has an important role in fostering media as a tool for accountability. So, the authors used the political parties as a mediator in the role of media in accountability because, in the Pakistani democratic setup, political parties have a significant role in making government. The relationship between the predictor variable, media and criterion variable, accountability, was analyzed in the course of Pearson-r Correlation Moment, while the causal association between them was analyzed by means of the Hierarchical Regression analysis. The mediation analysis was also conducted through SPSS Mediation analysis.

H01: There is no significant correlation between Media (Predictor variable) and Political Parties (Mediator variable) and the Accountability (Outcome variable).

The authors utilized the information gathered from the participants of this research. The results revealed that there is a significant, positive, and strong association between Media and Accountability. The results established that media has significant means that it has an important role in establishing accountability by creating awareness and playing its positive role as watchdog. The positive means that if the media role increases, the awareness and implementation of accountability would also be increased. These results based on the analysis are original; however, several studies in the past in other countries also discovered identical universal facts.

H02: The attributes of Political Awareness don’t significantly predict the Outcome variable.

This hypothesis was formulated following a broad evaluation of the past works. The outcomes of this research were as well found on data collected from the participants of this study. It was proved through numerical data that the predictor variable could bring 92 % variation in implementing the accountability. On the other hand, the standardized coefficient beta values demonstrated that Conventional media contributed more than the non-Conventional type of media.

H03: Political Parties have no significant mediating role between Media and Accountability.

Furthermore, to test the role of Political Parties as a mediator between the media and accountability, the mediation analysis was conducted. The hypothesis was formulated to check the role of political parties, as a mediator, in media and accountability. The results helped the authors to reject the null hypothesis. The authors’ goal was to get the standardized (beta) as well as unstandardized (raw score) regression coefficients as well as the Standard Errors connected with the unstandardized regression coefficients. Authors then utilized that information to check the statistical significance of the indirect effect (the mediated effect of the predictor variable (Print Media) acting through the mediator variable (Political Parties) to affect the outcome variable of (Accountability) through performing the Aroian test. Authors also calculate the difference in the path coefficients amid the predictor variable (Print Media) and the outcome variable of (Accountability) in the unmediated and mediated models through performing the Freedman–Schatzkin test. At the final point, the authors find out the relative strength of the mediated effect or result.

Then, the most important concern in calculating a mediation model is to find out if the hypothesized mediator (Media) affected the direct association amid the Predictor (Media) and the Criterion variable (Accountability). Tables’ assessment of the results gives the scholar a piece of evidence as to what his tests of significance are possibly to authenticate. The unstandardized path coefficient from Predictor (Media) to Criterion variable (Accountability) in the unmediated model was .510 and was reduced to .341 in the mediated model (the corresponding standardized coefficients were .959 and .640). Because both these coefficients were statistically significant, and because tables’ inspection informs the scholar that the path coefficient is lower in the mediated model, we are led to guess that we have observed a partial mediation effect. The authors utilized a series of steps to statistically test that guess (hypothesis).

One aspect of estimating statistical significance in the mediation model related to the indirect effect of Media (Predictors) through Political Parties (Mediator) on Accountability (Outcome Variable). Perhaps, the most commonly recognized as well as most often utilized approach to deal with statistical significance of the indirect effect is the Sobel test (Sobel, 1982, 1986) in addition to that is its variants, the Aroian test (Aroian, 1947) and the Goodman test (Goodman, 1960). To a certain extent, for the reason that the sampling distribution of the indirect effect tends to be a bit skewed rather than meeting the supposition that it is normal (resulted in the tests losing some statistical power), these tests have faced various criticism by the statisticians (e.g., Hayes, 2009; MacKinnon, Lockwood, Hoffman, West, & Sheets, 2002; Preacher & Hayes, 2004). on the other hand, these statistical tests are reported widely in the research literature, and the scholar also applied one of the members of this family, the Aroian test, here, in that it was the variation of the Sobel family of tests popularized by Baron and Kenny (1986).

The Freedman–Schatzkin test (Freedman & Schatzkin, 1992) compares the relative strengths of the paths from the Predictor variable to the Criterion or outcome variable in the unmediated model versus the mediated model. The scholar obtained a value of approximately 7.35 with a hand calculator. With 383 degrees of freedom (our N was 383), it is sufficient to reject the null hypothesis that the coefficients are not significantly different (p < .001). We, therefore, conclude that the mediated path coefficient is significantly lower than the unmediated path coefficient, indicating that we have obtained a partial mediation effect. Authors may then conclude that about a third (33.1%) of the effect of Media on Accountability is mediated through Political Parties.

The literature review and the primary data collected by the scholar for this particular study established the fact that media can foster accountability in Pakistan. Because the media revolution started in Pervez Musharraf’s era, since the dawn of the new century, it has had a profound impact on the masses' opinion about the performances of different governments and their responsibility to perform for the betterment of the society. The media has created awareness among the masses, and this awareness has forced the governments to perform and follow the principles of good governance. The qualitative and quantitative data unearthed for this study revealed that media has a significant role in fostering accountability which is one of the paramount elements of good governance with transparency and participation. Furthermore, the data revealed that people give importance to the role of political parties in the nascent democratic system of the country. They believed that political parties could enhance the role of media in fostering accountability.

 

Conclusion

The secondary data reviewed revealed that media, since its inception in the country and its spread across the country, has a significant impact on creating awareness about every aspect of the country. The scholar divided the media sources into ‘Conventional’ and ‘Non-Conventional.’ The conventional media was considered as Traditional Media, known as any form of media available before the advent of digital media, such as TV; Newspapers; Radio; Books, and Magazines. Non-Conventional media is considered as Non-Traditional media, such as Social media and its different facets: Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter, and Instagram. Accountability, the criterion variable, was divided into Political Accountability, Social Accountability and Accountability. The secondary data led the authors to collect primary.

The conclusions derived from the primary along with the secondary data reveal the fact that the media has a significant correlation with accountability. Media can significantly predict accountability in the country. Political Parties have a significant mediating role to play between the media in fostering accountability.

 


 


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