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Coverage of Conflict in Nigeria Newspapers

Coverage of Conflict in Nigeria Newspapers (Analysis of Selected Newspaper)


Every foundation of a study is drawn from the knowledge that has already been established, that is the reason why Issac Newton confessed that he has seen further by standing on the shoulder of giant. This clearly shows that no single research study stand in isolation nor does it rise or fall by itself.

Some authors newspapers, Magazines and oral quotes are visited to guarantee an effective study. However, this was made difficult by the death of information in the field and poor library system.

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It is common knowledge that the myriad of conflicts in several parts of the country in the past few months has resulted unimaginable damages, destruction of lives, properties and denting our nation’s image at the nation from religious intolerance, politics unhealthy quest for power, selfishness, rumour, bigotry, fanaticism which causes the above mention problems and more others.

Dr. Lanre Arogundade (2000 p:4) Opines that journalism is usually said to be a pretable to history, it provides the raw data upon which the historian meditates….It should be possible to assert today with indispensable benefit of a hindsight, that the tragedy that befalls us come about at least in part, because the press took too narrow a view of it’s responsibilities. It neglected to ask many questions it should have asked, and raised many of the alarms it should have raised.

The newspaper is regarded as a powerful medium of information, any reckless or ill-conceived editorial can plunge a nation into a state of anarchy. Also, they way or culture of a particular people, make them prone to violent behaviour and as such, crises situation from degenerating into a compete mayhem.

For instance, the Nigerian press went haywire when the sharia legal system was introduced in the Northern part of the country. This outburst nearly disintegrated the country with the attendant bedlam in some part of the country.


The press is an important institution in every society, and whichever of these or other roles it finds itself performing at any time matters a great deal in the life of a people. One particular news story, or an editorial, or a personal commentary published in a newspaper could serve as a mirror or reflector of an aspect of the social reality, and at the same time contain some ingredients of motivation, and even of conciliation as well, all of which could combine in some way to after the level of knowledge, attitudes, and actions of people in determining the course of any event.

In normal times when much of life’s processes can be substantially observed in their regularized routines. This power and importance of the press continue to exist unhindered. In crises situations when the routines have been disrupted and when people’s nerves and tempers also are likely to have been frayed, leading to a highly charged social atmosphere, the role of the mass media can easily be very decisive in helping to escalate the crises and bring the crisis under control.

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In practically every country in the west region of Africa sub-region today, there are spontaneous and long standing crises or conflict which if unattended could jeopardize the corporate existence of the nation and disturb the stability of the sub-region. What role is the press in the region playing in these festering conflicts.

The coverage referred to here is not only coverage of conflict as these pertain to other west African counties but also coverage of conflicts within Nigeria itself and between Nigeria and neigbouring nations.

This inclusion of Nigerian conflicts will enable us to compare the media’s handing of other conflicts in the sub-region. We are specifically interested in eh amount of coverage accorded conflict events. The level of prominence given to the stories, and the extent to which the press has undertaken a balanced, constructive, and responsible coverage of the conflicts.

Even though the press as a social institution has been around for many centuries in most of the advanced industrial nations of the world and for well over one and a-half centuries in the west African sub-region. The question is as to how the press goes about. Performing it’s function of providing information to people continues to be asked with a great deal of interest and anticipation.

The question continues to be asked because despite the various constraints, the press usually has the ability to determine what to report, when to report it, how to tailor the information, and where it will be published, this is concrete evidence of the power of the press.

In general terms, there are certain factors which usually condition the press in the performance of it’s functions. These include the prevailing political systems and political culture, the level of economic strength and independence enjoyed by the press, the ownership structure, the level of audience, the importance of the event in relation to the interest of the audience, the time of event occurrence, and the status of the particular medium in relation to other media with which it competes for the attention of the audience are also important determinants.

These factors could operate in various combinations to shape the coverage of various kinds of events at various times. However, they are not all of the same level of importance in influence the coverage of events.

For example, while mass media ownership can be very critical in determining the coverage of news events within a country’s foreign policy interests, and in fact play no readily discernible role in the determination of the coverage of foreign news (Pate, 1992, Sobowale 1987: Mayo and Pasadeos. 1991: Soderlund, 1992; McCoy, 1992). In other words, the operation of these factors is dependent upon the context of eh reported event.

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In view of Nigeria’s leadership position in the economic community of west African states (ECOWAS). It’s Afro-centric foreign policy thrust with special concern for the political, economic and social stability of the sub-region.

One would expect that Nigerian Mass Media coverage of conflicts in the area would reflect these realities. Specifically, the coverage should not be halfhearted but rather conscientious and substantial, and reasonably comparable to coverage of conflicts of similar status within Nigerian.


The daily times, National concord, has given a link to some relevant issues which has risen an upheavals to this study.

Conflict has cause a lot of problem to most state in Nigeria as a result of ethnic discrimination and religion differences which has result a lot of untime death been experience, in Northern part of Nigeria.

The report in Bornu shows that Boko Haram has cause a lot of insecurity to the town . The presidential spokes man Dr. Reuben Abadi in his dialogue to a Boko haram suspect please them to end the attack which was facilitated through back room channels concerning the terrible exposure of Bomb in the town which the police men take in their risk to rescue 10 men the “Guardian newspaper” reported.

The National concord report that in maduguri raid, men of the joint task force (J.T.F) recovered a cache of arms and ammunitionBomb-making materials and 39 cans of improvised explosive devices. The J.T.J spokes man it-col sager musa in his survey conducted a fellow up operations in the residence of a wanted commander of Bokoharam in Bulunkutu Lawanti area meduguri metropolis he-cans of ammunition was discovered in his house. Such as 39 cans of IEDS 3 kalashmkov tifles, six empthy magazines Laptop, chemical weapons 306 x 7’ 62mm special ammunition and a note book containing the names of Boko Haram members both late’s and living ones Gunbomb fuse, 50Q-link motor cycles charges.

The guardian went further in reporting explosive area of bomb. The Guardian learnt that gunmen touch, the marte divisional police station and the church of Christ in Nigeria with explosive and petroleum bombs killing a police segent and two civilian mate in the local headquarter of marte local council located at Maduguri.


The inescapable summary that can be drawn from the result of the present study is that the Nigerian press does make an effort to report on conflict situations in the west African sub region, but that the absolute amount of coverage and the quality of reporting need substantial improvement.

To some extent, the press serves as a mirror reflecting the charged economic, social, political, and cultural atmospheres, of the people’s relationships. It also tires to act as a motivator of the people to rise above their differences and even a conciliator for the warring parties in the process, the press appears to contribute somewhat to the shaping of the kind of society that exist in sub-region.

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Specifically, Nigeria newspapers do a good job of according front page attention to conflict events that deserve such prominent attention, and the newspapers as well, but not quite well as the daily news papers.

Balance in press coverage of crises and disputes goes a long way toward convincing disputants and observers alike of fair and equitable treatment by the press, a conviction which may well play some role in the resolution of disputes.

According to Dyin Adetuberin, a spokes man for the state security service Nigeria secret police declined to comment when asked about the threats to salkid a Nigerian journalist reports.

Solar Amore, told CPJ he is not aware of the threats and that salkida should report this case, to the police, while arbitrarily detained him over his reportage on the activities of the militant group in 2009 when he was reported for daily trust.

Salkida has been reporting on the activities of Boko Haram since mid -2006. In July 2011, death threats from individual identifying themselves as Boko Haram members forced Salkida to relocate from his home in the northern city of maiduguri after he published for blue print magazine an exclusive story on Boko Haram’s first suicide bomber.

The sect, which seeks the imposition of shariah law in the predominantly muslim states of northern Nigeria, has claimed responsibility for a wave of terrorist attacks that have killed nearly 1,000

people, including television journalist Zakariya Isa, according to news report.

Coverage of Conflict in Nigeria Newspapers (Analysis of Selected Newspaper


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