The Role Of The Mass Media In The Fight Against Terrorism In Nigeria

Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication

The Role Of The Mass Media In The Fight Against Terrorism In Nigeria


Abstract


This study investigated the role of the mass media in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria (2010-2020). The study was carried out in Kwara State Polytechnic, Kwara state. The study employed a descriptive and expository approach. The researcher used the purpose sampling technique in selecting 100 respondents out of the students of different institute in kwara state polytechnic. Questionnaire were used as instrument of data gathering. A total of one hundred (100) questionnaire paper will be distributed and administered within a reasonable period of time. The results of the study showed that the mass media do not justify issue about terrorist and that they magnify the fear and threat of the people in the way they report terrorists’ activities. The study concluded that a larger percentage feel that the mass media should give proper dissemination, good reporting, unbiased and accurately reporting about terrorism. The study recommended that the government too should provide avenue for the public to assist the mass media.


Table Of Contents


Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title Page
  • Declaration
  • Approval
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table Of Content

Chapter One

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background To The Study
  • 1.2 Statement Of The Problem
  • 1.2 Objectives Of The Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Significance Of The Study
  • 1.6 Scope Of Study
  • 1.7 Operational Definition Of Terms

Chapter Two

Literature Review

  • 2.1 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.2 Conceptual Frame Work
  • 2.3 Research Study Review

Chapter Three

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population Of Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size And Sampling Technique
  • 3.4 Instrumentation
  • 3.5 Validity And Reliability Of The Instrument
  • 3.6 Method Of Administration Of Instrument
  • 3.7 Method Of Data Analysis

Chapter Four

4.0 Data Presentation and Analysis of Data

  • 4.1 Analysis Of The Field Performance
  • 4.2. Analysis Of The Demographic Segment Of The Instrument
  • 4.3 Analysis Of Data On The Research Questions

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Limitation Of The Study
  • 5.3 Conclusion
  • 5.4 Recommendations
  • References
  • Appendix
  • Questionnaire

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background To The Study

One of the major functions of the mass media is the provision of adequate information about ongoings or current events in the society as a way of serving the public what they need to know.

The news media in particular serve this basic human need by providing information on WHO? WHAT? WHY? WHERE? And HOW? Relaying to the public. It is possible to argue that there is no particular time the public is more in need of information from the mass media than when the safety or even the survival of the public is threatened. In other words, the public is in greater need of more extensive information during a current danger in order to reduce uncertainty about the danger (Schlesinger, et al 1983:14) No wonder that the news media, particularly the broadcast media, become a relaying point of the public when terrorists strike.

Nevertheless, reporting on terrorism presents a number of “dilemma” and “paradoxes” to journalists whose responsibility is to inform the public “Objectively”; fairly” and “Accurately.

It is however, a dilemma to them because one of the main objectives of terrorist act is to maximize publicity in order to create a “psychological” effect on the public. This leads to some questions concerning the role of the mass media in reporting terrorism. For example, is the mass media acting as an accomplice to the aims of the terrorists by craving cheap publicity for them? Is the mass media not magnifying the threat and fear in the way they report terrorism instead of allaying the fear? Isthe mass media reports of terrorism encouraging more of such acts as terrorists may be more emboldened by the massive publicity they gain for their terror and intensify the acts of terrorism? Are the mass media really objective and accurate in the way they report terrorism in their narrative and framing of the terrorist? How best should the mass media report incidents of terrorist violence? These are the complex questions that this article tries to put into perspective with the aim of providing a personal view point on how the mass media has been reporting terrorism. The aim of this article is not to provide absolute answers to the questions because I think there are no perfect answers or consensus on the complex issue of how the mass media reporter should report on terrorism. Rather, it simply argues that any form of political violence that goes unreported or not reported sensationally; it also argues that the simplification of terrorist acts without recourse to historical details and motives of the terrorist by the mass media has not been helpful in reducing acts of terrorism. If the mass media go beyond the rhetoric of the official perspective and stop labeling terrorists and defining their acts as evil against good and instead provide a deeper analysis of what motives such acts carry, the mass media would have gone a long way to resolve the “MENACE” that has deeply taken root in the fabric of our national and international relationship.

It should be noted that the history of terrorism is as old as man dealing with humans willingness to use violence to affect politics. However, global terrorism became a prominent issue in the late 1960’s when hijacking became a favored tactic.

This study will attempt to illuminate the “interdependent” nature of relationship between the mass media and terrorist which should help expose or explain the convention and narratives which have led to terrorism and how the people of the world have been able to benefit from the information of the mass media.


1.2 Statement Of The Problem

Terrorism had been a matter of global concern since the second half of 25th century. Apart from some deadly diseases, terrorism is regarded as the greatest threat to human existence. Hence, all the nations of the world are presently involved in an untiming crusade to eliminate terrorism in the whole world.

The mass media had been one of the reliable for waging war against terrorism. The question then are these what actually are he contributions of the Nigeria media in the war against terrorism? What impact had the activities of the media had as regards to reducing the incidence of terrorist activities in Nigeria? These questions, presented the problems that necessitated this research.


1.3 Objectives Of The Study

The main objective of this study is to examine the role of the mass media in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria from 2010 to 2020.

The following are the specific objectives of this study:

  1. To enlighten the public and see how the mass media has influence the attacks of terrorist.
  2. To see if the mass media have a positive or negative influence on the people.
  3. To see if the mass media are publicizing the terrorist for their own interest, that is getting the attention of more viewers.
  4. To examine the cause and effect of global terrorism on the people, government and the economy.
  5. To see how the mass media has also assisted the government in fighting global terrorism.

1.1 Research Questions

For the purpose of this study, the following research questions will be considered

  1. Is the mass media not magnifying the threat and fear of the people in the way they report terrorism?
  2. What are the effects of media crusade against terrorism?
  3. What roles should the mass media play in fighting against global terrorism?
  4. To what extent do media report terrorism?

1.5 Significance Of The Study

The significance of this study is to inform the people on how to help the mass media in fighting terrorism by giving information to the police and other organizations that fight against terrorism.

This study also explains how the mass media had contributed in the fight against terrorism.

It also proffers solutions and advice to the mass media on how to improve in their reportage of terrorism.


1.6 Scope Of Study

This research work will be based on questionnaire that will be distributed among students.

This research has succeeded in asking 100 students about the role of the mass media in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria (2010-2020).

Kwara State Polytechnic is our case of study and the responses of the students will be gathered after the first semester examination of the 2019/2020 academic session.


1.7 Operational Definition Of Terms

Media:

This also can be referred to as a medium or a channel in which information is being passed to the audience, usually in mass communication.

Terrorist:

A group of people or persons that causes terror, violence, fear, nuisance, intimidation etc in a particular place.

News:

This can be referred to as fresh information a recent happening that is worth reporting.

Violence:

This is causing unrest in the society or any where, using great force to attack people, causing chaos etc


Chapter Five


5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary

This research work is primarily aimed at discovering “the role of the mass media in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria (2010-2020)”.

This research design is however descriptive and expository in nature, questionnaires were shared among students of Kwara State Polytechnic in their various institutes on their opinions or views on “the role of the mass media in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria (2010-2020)”

The primary functions of the mass media are the provision of adequate information about ongoing or current events in the society as a way of serving the public what they need to know.

However, the motives came in a negative direction as findings show that the mass media do not justify issue about terrorist and that they magnify the fear and threat of the people in the way they report terrorists’ activities.
In the view revealed vehemently by this research work according to the response of the respondents, a larger percentage feels that the mass media should give proper dissemination, good reporting, unbiased and accurately reporting about terrorism.


5.2 Limitation Of The Study

This study is restricted to one polytechnic which is kwara state polytechnic due to the time frame. The time frame scheduled for the research work to be carried out is not too far sufficient to study more than one polytechnic or institution. In addition the researchers are still expected to meet other academic demands within the scheduled range of time.

Furthermore, the dilapidated and unequipped school library along side it’s outdated research materials also hampered the efficiency and smooth running of the literature review, this will make the researchers to strive for other sources to get other necessary materials for the work. Financial constrain has also limited the sample size, this has made the researchers to reduce the numbers of questionnaires and this has reduce the study of more people.


5.3 Conclusion

The dramatic narration and manners in which media report terrorist is the vital concern of many theorists who are interested in how the mass media have reported various terrorist acts. On this basis, the negative labeling and definition of the terrorist might have some effect in terms of how they are framed and primed in the mind of the audiences, nevertheless, the current news environment provides a site for a struggle against such framing and priming in the minds of the public.

However, terrorists must have publicity in some form if they are to gain attention, inspire fear and respect, secure favorable understanding, cooperation, restraint and loyalty in effort to limit terrorist harm to society and in efforts to punish or apprehend general pursue the freedom to cover and issues without restraint, especially government restraint.

The mass media, the news media in particular have been a ready accomplice for the achievement of the terrorist motives of creating fear in the minds of the public.

The mass media’s coverage of terrorism provokes both undue publicity for the terrorists and immeasurable fear, real or imaginary, in the minds of the public and thus, in the end, may embolden the terrorist to go further and raise the threshold of their violence. Livingstone (1982:63) argues that a heavy emphasis on the violent acts committed by terrorists may stimulate other terrorists to repeat the same crimes. In this view, there is evidence to suggest that detailed coverage of a terrorist act is apt to lead a rash of similar acts. In fact the contagion effect may spread beyond reducing the inhibition of the terrorists towards violence.


5.4 Recommendations

According to the finding of this research work, recommendable measures to be taken are suggested below:
Since the reportage of terrorist activities by the mass media is mostly for the benefit of the public, the government too should provide avenue for the public to assist the mass media. For example the emergency security number “911” should be active in all part of the country so that any member of the public can easily call any government authorities or security agent e.g. police, to report any suspicion or terrorist activities.

Furthermore, since the aim of the mass media is to help the public and assist them to be careful against terrorist attack, they (media) should not magnify the fear and threat of the people in the way they report about terrorism.
More so, all higher institution, Kwara State Polytechnic to be precise should include enlightenment about terrorism to their syllabus, since most youth now indulge in terrorist act.


The Role Of The Mass Media In The Fight Against Terrorism In Nigeria


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