Journalistic strategies in conflict reporting and the representations of ethnic and religious identities in Jos, Nigeria : towards solutions-review journalism

Danaan, GN 2017, Journalistic strategies in conflict reporting and the representations of ethnic and religious identities in Jos, Nigeria : towards solutions-review journalism , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Abstract

This study examines journalistic strategies in terms of the appropriation of media logics in the conflict frame building process. Relying on three models: objectivity, mediatisation and news framing; the research interrogates the role orientations and performance of journalists who reported the conflict involving the ‘indigenous’ Christians and Hausa Fulani Muslim ‘settlers’ of Jos - a city in North Central Nigeria inhabited by approximately one million people. It provides empirical evidence of the strategies and the representations of ethnic and religious identities in the conflict narratives focusing on the most cited and vicious conflict in Jos which occurred in 2001, 2008 and 2010.

Drawing on in-depth individual interviews with print and broadcast journalists resident in Jos (to understand their role orientations/conceptions), and the qualitative content analysis of two Nigerian newspapers of ‘Christian South’ and ‘Muslim North’ (to know their role performance in terms of linguistic choices), the study makes two major contributions that demonstrate the ‘strategic’ role of journalists in the conflict. First, it establishes that a number of strategies were used: their choice of words to ‘moderate’ or ‘water down’ conflict: the implanting, reinforcement, community-aided strategies, among others. Importantly, it discovers the Neutral-to-goal-focused/pyramid strategy which presents a systematic frame building process that alters the nuanced inverted pyramid news structure. This evolving strategy advances an understanding of journalists’ framing of ethnic and religious identities. Second, it establishes that journalists share membership of their ethnic and/or religious community influenced by residential segregation of the city, internal and external pressure and exposure to violence. The study demonstrates large scale participation by journalists in the conflict resulting in the escalation of violence. Thus, mediatised conflict research is revisited – placing media logics at the heart of the conflict. The research proposes a Solutions-Review Journalism (SRJ) as a framework for conflict reporting and argues that a review process is necessary to measure impact.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media
Depositing User: Godfrey Naanlang Danaan
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2018 15:22
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2018 01:38
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/43583

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