Other avenues: PTI’s Insaf TV creates online presence

Published: January 27, 2013
Move spurred by resource crunch, blackout fears. PHOTO: FILE

Move spurred by resource crunch, blackout fears. PHOTO: FILE

Move spurred by resource crunch, blackout fears. PHOTO: FILE Move spurred by resource crunch, blackout fears.

Lacking resources to compete in the escalating “media war” in an election year, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has turned to the Internet and launched a web television channel called Insaf TV, to combat the blackout they face on prime time airwaves.

“The PTI is often blacked out in the mainstream media,” the party’s social media head Imran Ghazali said. Their national campaign head, Asad Umar says that the party lacks the resources to compete with other mainstream parties currently in power, like the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), but their web-based channel, Insaf TV, is a cost effective way “to get [their] message across to the people.”

Insaf TV will not just be a round-the-clock outlook on the party chief and his activities, but also a mechanism to provide airtime to the “unknown” party members, for whom the party cannot afford to buy expensive airtime on mainstream television.

“A lot of our candidates are unknown,” Umar said, adding that “the [top tier] leadership is known, but these [second tier] people are not.”

Tapping youth support

“Getting people to go out and exercise voting rights takes a lot of campaigning,” says Ghazali. However, the party banked on its active social media base to give this push.

When voters’ registration took place last year, the party realised that it had a pool of support from possible voters who had not registered. The party mobilised its resources, and created a video ad campaign, urging the youth to register themselves. As the campaign went viral on the Internet, PTI tapped their support.

The content on the channel focuses on video messages of PTI’s second tier leadership, also recordings of the party’s public meetings, rallies and documentaries created as a part of their election campaign.

The party has also chosen to make this content multilingual. Umar says that while the channel will primarily be in Urdu, they will also focus on regional languages.

Former television personality Misbah Khalid has been brought in as part of the editorial board and will be responsible for content creation on the channel.

Overseas audience

A key inspiration behind the web-based channel was the party’s overseas audience. “Our overseas members want to see what is going on with the party domestically, the channel will enable them to watch videos of rallies. Similarly, our audience in Pakistan can watch recordings of programmes held abroad,” Ghazali said.

While many political parties have started paying attention to the Internet and social media, their online presence is limited.

However, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) is an exception. The party has set up its own web-based television channel and has a fully functioning media liaison office. 

Published in The Express Tribune, January 27th, 2013.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (39)

  • Hassaan
    Jan 27, 2013 - 11:58AM

    What an inimitable step taken by Kaptaan. Oh yes, PMLN doesn’t need to copy this as they have been given extensive coverage by our electronic media. Imran for PM.


  • Mudassar
    Jan 27, 2013 - 12:06PM

    Another outstanding step towards success, keep it up PTI


  • asim
    Jan 27, 2013 - 12:14PM

    Money games


  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Jan 27, 2013 - 12:15PM

    Good effort. Keep it up!Recommend

  • PakPower
    Jan 27, 2013 - 12:19PM

    Pragmatic step but I don’t think it will have the desired effect. The streaming of a web based TV channel is bandwidth-heavy so it requires high-speed internet access – a luxury available to a small percentage of the population. A percentage that already knows what PTI wants to get across.


  • Cacha
    Jan 27, 2013 - 12:19PM

    Great step by PTI.. We are with you.. Go for the win..


  • Nawaz Sharif
    Jan 27, 2013 - 12:20PM

    Attack of the anti PTI trolls in 3…2…1


  • Irtiza
    Jan 27, 2013 - 12:21PM

    Excellent initiative! It would be great if PTI can get the cable operators to broadcast the channel on a particular frequency, too. This will give the channel a wider audience. That way it won’t be limited to people with internet access only.


  • LikeWise
    Jan 27, 2013 - 12:23PM

    This is brilliant.


  • confused
    Jan 27, 2013 - 12:37PM

    Another naïve move by PTI as if we are living in a country of cyber literate masses. Insaf TV sounds progresive but unfortunate. All the best anyways.


  • Jan 27, 2013 - 1:03PM

    why didn’t imran khan stand for kamran’s death. can any one answer this..Recommend

  • Careless Whispers
    Jan 27, 2013 - 1:14PM

    from where is PTI generating all the fund??


  • Saad Shaikh
    Jan 27, 2013 - 1:45PM

    An interesting move though how in the world does PTI face a media blackout? It gets more coverage than any other political party despite the fact that it has no representation in any of the assemblies.


  • Jan 27, 2013 - 1:54PM

    It is great effort and good idea for reaching out to the desperate citizen and especially youth. I believe that youth will change destiny of this great country and PTI massage should reach the young and energetic blood. I appeal to the 40 million youth to go all out for change and break all the chains of status co.

    Bravo PTI and Bravo Youth


  • Abdul Azeem
    Jan 27, 2013 - 2:42PM

    Good Initiative.


  • Z
    Jan 27, 2013 - 2:51PM

    @Careless Whispers: This is actually a cheaper option than funding traditional media to broadcast your point of view. Didn’t you get the point of the article? Oh yes, and I donate to PTI. And I know many others who do as well.


  • Jan 27, 2013 - 2:56PM

    I am so glad that after Bhutto, Imran khan is the leader who mobilize the youth and so glad that this youth is really educated and technology savvy. After a huge presence on social media (twitter/facebook), This is another field they have secured the place quite successfully. I also think future election campaign wont be doing big procession and rallies. It ll all be on social media and tv. In america, It already shown the successful campaign on twitter of obama’s first presidential election. Good luck to you PTI. I hope you succeed to win the upcoming elections and fulfill the promises you made to Pakistani nation.


  • Prabhjyot Singh Madan
    Jan 27, 2013 - 4:10PM

    I still believe ppp is the best political party in Pakistan. They don’t follow Taliban like Mr Talibankhan. People should reelect them. All parties are corrupt but if tk wins then you people will regret it. Thank you


  • mian khaliq
    Jan 27, 2013 - 4:13PM

    Mr Farhan it is PTI who is working day and night to bring justiace for Kamran.. Imran khan has already issued a strong statement agasint Zardari if u want to see that vid u may visit zemtv webstie. Thank u Recommend

  • Hina
    Jan 27, 2013 - 4:14PM

    I doubt there are enough people in PPP and PML-N who know how to turn on a computer :)


  • Jan 27, 2013 - 4:20PM

    IK has already done a press conference on it. PTI and ISF continue to hold protests on the issue. May I ask what more do you expect from PTI?


  • Jan 27, 2013 - 4:23PM

    @Prabhjyot Singh Madan:
    Most likely you don’t live in Pakistan, that is why your analysis is so out of sync with reality.


  • Javeed
    Jan 27, 2013 - 4:23PM

    @farhan: U can see online Imran khan views on this death. Only Nawaz Sharif not siad any word for kamran s death


  • Jan 27, 2013 - 4:23PM

    Great effort by PTI. Even though this might not get to all the target population they are trying to target, at least they are trying to do something to overcome their resource constraints.


  • Careless Whispers
    Jan 27, 2013 - 4:29PM

    one cant win elections just bcos she/he can turn a computer on/off….. great logic thou .. :P


  • kalia
    Jan 27, 2013 - 4:56PM

    http://insafpk.tv/ you link on article is not correct.. please correct it….. Imran is not getting true representation in Media…. media needs bucks… for highligh anyone…


  • Prabhjyot Singh Madan
    Jan 27, 2013 - 5:04PM

    I live in India but I know there is no substitute for congress. There maybe problems but they will overcome it there.


  • Fahad Khan
    Jan 27, 2013 - 5:06PM

    Way to go PTI. PTI is completely changing the dynamics of politics in Pakistan.


  • Salman
    Jan 27, 2013 - 5:42PM

    PTI will sweep next elections


  • John the Baptist
    Jan 27, 2013 - 5:57PM

    @Careless Whispers:

    You vote for family limited companies, we will vote for Imran.


  • Dr.A. K.Tewari
    Jan 27, 2013 - 7:24PM

    PTI will bring jehaad in Pakistan through this TV channel . Good luck .


  • Adnan Siddiqi
    Jan 27, 2013 - 8:51PM

    One can sincerely hope that this new enterprise funded by the Jahaz Group would extract the desired results since PTI has just bombed in the consecutive IRI Survey.


  • Adnan Siddiqi
    Jan 27, 2013 - 8:58PM


    Care to tell us as to what prompted the same media to give round the clock coverage starting from laying down of chairs until the last man left the congregation during Oct. 30 and Dec. 25, 2011 concerts? Oh let me guess, it was by virtue of big bucks thrown at the same media which is being chagrined right now. Now the questions is, who were those paymasters and heavy duty donors?


  • Adnan Siddiqi
    Jan 27, 2013 - 9:00PM

    @John the Baptist:

    Folks and parties boycotting elections deserve brickbats and not votes.


  • Mubashir
    Jan 27, 2013 - 9:25PM

    The Media in General has been Thrashing at PTI for the last one year. Seems to be paying off… The latest IRI survey shows that. Congratulations all. We stopped the Change from ever happening.


  • naeem khan
    Jan 28, 2013 - 1:06AM

    “The PTI is often blacked out in the mainstream media,”
    joke of the century the party that was created, nurtured and ballooned up by the media is now reduced to such stunts as WEB TV every time there has been by elections PTI has ran away from it and as the elections are nearing THE GREAT KHAN is seeing the writing on the wall and is planning another run away by empty threats of long march and protests but there is no escape now the balloon created by media is about to burst with a big bang


  • Something Clever
    Jan 28, 2013 - 8:43AM

    @Nawaz Sharif:
    You do know that imitation of a ‘”I know you are but what am I” variation comes off as nothing more than unoriginality and a lack of intelligence reminiscent of Imran Khan himself, right? Due to the fact it’s the same as admitting your “leader” says things that invite negative criticism.
    When someone says child molestation is bad, a negative reaction won’t be anticipated and catch people off guard. Deep down you and his other supporters know what “anti-PTI trolls” are right. Though you’re even using invalid arguments for that, again, like Imran Khan constantly does. Trolls just say bad things for the sake the reaction. All the “anti-PTI trolls” are always accompanied by no shortage of valid quotes straight from Imran Khan’s own mouth. Seems using your brain is taboo in the Imran Khan fanboi club.


  • Feb 12, 2013 - 2:57AM

    Another website in support of PTI


  • Shakeel N
    Feb 12, 2013 - 4:42PM

    @Careless Whispers:
    This is Junoon, not money. And Junoon cannot be bought.


More in Pakistan