Reportage and Framing of Pastoralist-Farmer Conflicts in Nigerian Newspapers
AbstractThe framing of information in the media could affect its interpretation by the recipients. Considering the incessant nature of pastoralist-farmer conflicts and its effect on food security in Nigeria, this study examined the reportage and framing of pastoralist-farmer conflicts in the newspapers. Three top newspapers (Punch, Vanguard and The Nation) were randomly selected for analysis. The coverage period was January to December, 2016. Variables measured include nature of covered issues, frequency of reportage, space allotted, placement and frames. Frequency counts, percentages and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) were used to analyse the collected data. Calamity/killing (40.0%) was the most covered issue across the papers, while Vanguard newspapers had the highest reportage of (48.2%) and largest space allotment (470cm2) to the issue. The paper also gave the issue more prominence (60.7%) than other newspapers. More of the issues (52.0%) reported had ethnic slants in their frames, with Vanguard having the largest proportion (40.0%). There was a significant difference in the spaces allotted to pastoralist-farmer conflicts across the newspapers (F= 3.418, p≤0.05). The current framing of pastoralist-farmer conflicts in the newspapers could aggravate the existing tension along ethnic lines. Newspaper editors are implored to be more socially responsible in their publications.
Keywords: Newspaper coverage, news frame, pastoralist-farmer conflicts and food security
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