The Nigerian press coverage of political conflicts in a pluralistic society

Ekeanyanwu Nnamdi Tobechukwu


This paper evaluates Nigeria’s press coverage of political crises and conflicts during the President Obasanjo (Second Term) regime of 2003-2007. The major focus of this paper is to assess the role of the Nigerian press in the struggle for political positions, which breeds crises and conflicts especially in a pluralistic society. It is the position of the paper that the Nigerian press has not fared very well in reporting political conflicts and crises because of the advocacy position adopted by most of them. It is also observed that editorial influence on the part of publishers may not be unconnected with this trend. Using the content analytical research method as the main instrument of data generation, this paper submits that the Nigerian press has operated more as active players in political crises and conflicts than as an impartial judge of such crises and conflicts. This has negatively affected the management of such crises and conflicts. The paper therefore cautions against advocacy journalism in the Nigerian media industry and suggests more public participation in the media industry through “people” ownership. The press should also strive towards better professional and ethical practices in the industry and ensures that it only engages in constructive and balanced reporting of conflicts and issues.

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