Mass media plays an important role in any democratic system. Literature identified many functions of media towards citizen in a democratic setup. The major functions include coverage on socio-political issues and events, give diverse opinion, give platform for constructive debates, holding people in power accountable and involving general public to political process. These functions vary with the different forms of democracy like from direct to representative and pure to fragile form of democracy. This study offers an insight into the democratic role performance of Pakistani media. While borrowing the democratic role performance criteria from the relevant scholarship, the researchers contently analyzed news stories relating to the General Elections 2018 in Dawn, Jang and Express News channels. The findings reveal that Pakistani media mainly report the events in sensationalistic manner in which qualitative debates on democracy are compromised over drama, superficiality and subjectivity. The researchers call for a more pluralistic and robust media approach to democratic practices to produce more enlightened citizenry in Pakistan.
Key words: Media; democratic role performance, political apathy; sensationalism; Pakistan; critical selfawareness