Digital Journalism: How Top Pakistani Vloggers Leverage Thumbnails

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Digital Journalism: How Top Pakistani Vloggers Leverage Thumbnails

Overview:

YouTube has seen significant growth in Pakistan, with over 71 million users. The platform has become a hub for political discussions and narrative building. This report analyzes how top Pakistani YouTubers use video thumbnails to attract viewers, in the process spread misinformation and promote sensationalism.

Methodology:

For this study, we analysed 65 videos from 11 most popular Pakistani YouTube journalists/ vloggers, selected based on their influence and viewership. We examined the thumbnails and content of these videos, focusing on following :-

  • Discrepancy between thumbnail text/images and actual video content
  • Use of sensationalism in thumbnails
  • Impact on viewership and engagement

We developed a scoring system to evaluate thumbnail accuracy and sensationalism as per following criteria

  • 0-3: Minimal or no sensationalism (accurate thumbnails)
  • 4-6: Moderate sensationalism (some exaggeration)
  • 7-10: High sensationalism (misleading thumbnails)

Thumbnail Accuracy:

  • 47.6% of videos (31/65) had highly inaccurate/sensational thumbnails.
  • 29.3% of videos (19/65) had moderately sensational thumbnails.
  • Only 23.1% of videos (15/65) had accurate, non-sensational thumbnails.

Channel Analysis:

Ibrahim Raja, Makhdoom Shahab Ud Din, and Hamid Mir used the most sensational thumbnails

Popular channels like Siddique Jan, Sabir Shakir, and Imran Riaz Khan used a mix of accurate and sensational thumbnails

Talat Hussain and Matiullah Jan consistently used accurate thumbnails

Overall analysis reveals that maximum vloggers use mix of accurate and inaccurate taglines (click baits) to gain viewership.

To read more about Content Analysis and Viewership comparisons read the full report here

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