Discourse of Fear and Economic Crisis: A Multimodal Analysis of Pakistani Newspaper’s Political Cartoons of COVID-19


Fareeha Aazam
Tanveer Baig
Amna Azam
Zainab Azam


The study investigates COVID-19 language of fear and phobia in Pakistani newspaper's political cartoons. These cartoons are a powerful medium for visual communication of any current and significant scenario as one image depicts the whole story. The editorial cartoons are also used to convey a specific meaning behind visual features. The present study is mainly concerned with the coronavirus, which affected life all over the world, and it is observed how newspapers are reporting this pandemic through political cartoons. Data is collected from 'The Dawn' newspaper. The research is qualitative. Machin's (2007) multimodal analysis is adapted for data analysis. Images denote and connote to convey a specific meaning according to the social and historical contexts. The study reveals that these political cartoons disseminate fear and mental illness among the people. However, they are also mocking and criticizing the official authorities for the economic crisis by highlighting the financial problems of the masses, as they did not make the wise decisions on time to control this pandemic.