DOI: https://doi.org/10.21847/1728-9343.2019.4(162).177251

Audience Perception of Media Reporting of Separatist and Sectarian Agitations in Nigeria

Joseph Oluchukwu Wogu, Patrick Ugwu

Abstract


For some time now, Nigeria has faced the threat of secession from different groups. Each of the groups feels that the country is not representing their interest. In particular, most of the groups feel that the interest of their people has not been properly represented in terms of power sharing. Nigeria operates a democratic system of government with three tiers namely the executive, the judiciary and the legislature. The country also has six geo-political zones for the purposes of power sharing. The zones are North East, North West North, North Central South East, South West and South-South. The 36 states of the federation are, therefore, groups into the various zones with unequal number of states. For example, the North East has six states, the North West has seven, the North Central has six the same as South-South and South-West. However, the South-East has only five states. The unequal number of states among the geo-political zones has serious implications for power sharing in the country. For example, each state has three elected senators and a number of house of representative members depending on the population of the state. What this means is that the South-East has less number of senators and House of Representative members. Their counterparts from North-West is likely is likely to have the highest number of representatives. Zones like North Central, North East, South-West and South-South will have equal number of Senators but the number of House of Representatives may differ depending on the population. This unequal representation could have implications on the promotion of bills and policies and motions in the National Assembly that address issues that affect the welfare of each of the people of each geo-political zones. The mere thinking that South-East is outnumbered in the National Assembly could also make people of the zone to view almost every government programme and policy with suspicion. People of the area may be thinking that the government at the centre does not represent their interest. They may also be thinking that the country does not mean well for them. All these could provide fertile ground for agitations to fester. This partly explains why the country has faced agitations from people from South-East who have over the years sought to separate from Nigeria. Such agitations have also been reported in the media. This paper investigates audience perception of this reporting. The study sought answers to four research questions. Survey research was adopted for the study. A total of 384 respondents were recruited for the study. The questionnaire was the instrument for data collection. The data generated were analysed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. It was found that most of the respondents studied reported high frequency of exposure to media reports on secession agitations. The result also showed that the media of exposure were radio, TV, and newspapers. The sample studied perceived media reports on secession agitations as supporting such actions. The result also showed a significant relationship between exposure to media reports on secession and public perception. The researchers recommend, among others, that the Nigerian Union of journalists should step up their monitoring mechanism to ensure that media reports do not compromise national unity.

Keywords


Mass media; audience; perception; separatism; sectarianism; conflict reporting; nation-building

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References


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GOST Style Citations


Adora C. U. Renewing the face of Counter Terrorism for Global Peace: The Challenges for Theatre Artist in Nigeria. Jos Journal of Humanities. 2010. 4(1). Рр. 103-114.

 

Barber B. R. Jihad vs. MacWorld: How globalism and tribalism are reshaping the world. Baltimore, USA, 1996.

 

Duruji M. M. Social inequity, democratic transition and the Igbo nationalism resurgence in Nigeria. African Journal of Political Science and International Relations. 2009. 3(1). Рр. 54-65.

 

El-Nawawy M. & Powers S. Mediating conflict: Al-Jazeera English and the possibility of a conciliatory media. Los Angeles: Figueroa Press, 2008.

 

Feldman R. Understanding Psychology, fifth edition. McGraw Hill, 1999.

 

Gentzkow M., Shapiro J. M. Media bias and reputation. Journal of Political Economy. 2006. 114(2). Рр. 280-316. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/499414.

 

Ibeano O., Orji N. & Iwuamadi C. K. Biafra separatism: Causes, consequences and remedies. Enugu: Institute for Innovations in Development, 2016.

 

Lahlry S. A blue print for perception training. Journal for training and development. 1991. 45(8). Рр. 21-25.

 

Mazzoleni G. & Schulz W. Mediatization’ of Politics: A Challenge for Democracy? Political Communication. 1999. 16(3). Рр. 247-261. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/105846099198613.

 

McCombs Maxwell. A look at agenda-setting: Past, present and future. Journalism Studies. 2005. 6. Рр. 543-557. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14616700500250438.

 

Mortensen P. B., Serritzlew S. Newspapers, agenda-setting, and local budgeting. Draft paper presented to The European Consortium for Political Research, Joint Sessions of Workshops - Uppsala 2004 - Workshop number 15, Political Agenda-setting and the Media. 2004.

 

Obaje C. News frame patterns: An evaluation of newspaper coverage of Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria. Covenant Journal of Communication. 2017. 4(1). Рр. 12-26.

 

Pool S. I. Technologies without Boundaries: On Telecommunication in a Global Age. Boston: Harvard press, 1990.

 

Sabo S. S., Salisu Y. M. Pictorial framing of the Boko Haram insurgency by the Daily Trust and the Nation Newspapers. International Journal of Communication: an Interdisciplinary Journal of communication Studies. 2017. 12. Рр. 23-36.

 

Samuel O. A. Print media coverage of Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria: A study of the Punch, Daily Sun and the Guardian. Review of Public Administration and Management. 2016. 5(9). Рр. 11-23.

 

Schacter D. Psychology. Worth Publishers, 2011.

 

Schultz P. Theories of Personality (with InfoTrac). London: Wadsworth Publishing, 2004.

 

Severin J. Werner, Tankard Jr. James W. Communication theories: origins, methods and uses in mass media, 5th edition. Longman, 2001.

 

Strömbäck J. The rise of the media punditocracy? Journalists and media pundits in Danish election news 1994-2007. Media Culture & Society. 2007. 32(6). Рр. 943-960.

 

Thompson J. B. The Media and Modernity: A Social Theory of the Media. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2005.

 

Turner H., West R. Introducing Communication Theory: Analysis and application, (3rd). McGraw Hill, 2007.






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