The influence of ethnicity in newspaper coverage of the Plateau State conflict in North-Central Nigeria (2010-2012)

Dewan, A ORCID: 2018, The influence of ethnicity in newspaper coverage of the Plateau State conflict in North-Central Nigeria (2010-2012) , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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This research project surveyed the Influence of ethnicity in newspaper coverage of the Plateau State conflict in North-Central Nigeria. It analyses how conflict journalists reported this violent episode that has spanned nearly twenty years and the significance of this coverage. The conflict has been between the Plateau State indigenous communities (indigenes), on the one hand, and the Hausa/Fulani ethnic group (settlers), on the other hand. Scholars have examined this violent conflict from economic, political, ethno-religious and social perspectives aimed at understanding the causative factors and ameliorate the conflict's problems. Despite these efforts, no study to this point has been done on how ethnicity influenced newspaper journalists' coverage of this violent phenomenon. This, therefore, is the gap in knowledge which this study attempts to close. The research deployed agenda-setting, news framing, and human right oriented journalism as conceptual explanatory frameworks for this enquiry. Through then, this research attempted to understand how conflict journalists constructed and framed the news and reports they produced, by analysing two sets of primary data gathered in the project: Semi-structured interviews with some key journalists (reporters and editors) and newspaper texts of The Nigeria Standard and the Daily Trust.

Findings from literature, textual and interview data obtained over the period of this research (three years) evidenced that conflict journalists of The Nigeria Standard and the Daily Trust, in constructing their news frames, were influenced more by their ethnic affiliations than by the ethics of the journalism profession of which they were supposed to be bound by. The news framing, which they used revealed how, in some instances, reporters amplified issues, while in some others, de-emphasised them either to aggravate or downplay the conflict. The discursive strategies reporters and editors employed, (propaganda, exaggeration, litotes, and negatives stereotyping, among others) led to the inclusion and exclusion of certain frames, facts, opinions and value judgements. Through these strategies the journalists of the two selected newspapers set agenda for the reading audience. Thus, the study avows that The Nigeria Standard and the Daily Trust journalists' coverage of the Plateau State conflict was influenced more by ethnicity than by the ethics of journalism and consequently led to the intensification of the conflict.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Halligan, B (Supervisor) and Simpson, S (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media > Arts, Media and Communication Research Centre
Funders: Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TedFUND)
Depositing User: Andrew Dewan
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2018 10:58
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 21:13

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