NEWS FRAMING AND CONFLICT MANAGEMENT BY THE NIGERIAN PRESS: A DISCOURSE ANALYSIS OF FARMERS/HERDSMEN CLASHES

*Sadiq Mohammed, Syarizan Dalib and Rasaq M Adisa

SADIQ MOHAMMED, Department of Mass Communication, Faculty of Languages and Communication Studies, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, P.M.B 11, Lapai, Niger State.

*Corresponding author‘s email:assadiq12@gmail.com
SYARIZAN DALIB, Communication Department, School of Multimedia Technology and Communication, College of Arts & Sciences, Universiti Utara Malaysia,  and
RASAQ M. ADISA, Department of Mass Communication, Faculty of Communication and Information Sciences, University of Ilorin

 

Abstract

 Since Nigeria’s independence in 1960, Nigerian media have served as a conduit for stimulating a myriad of social tensions. However, with the advent of democracy in 1999, these trends continue and metamorphose into religious and ethno-political upheavals which have been a challenge to leadership. Incidentally, in recent years, the persistent clashes between farmers and herdsmen dawdled. In this regard, exploring the patterns of news framing on this social tension is necessary for an effective conflict management strategy in Nigeria’s frail political atmosphere. Therefore, this discourse analysis explores news headlines from the Daily Trust, Nigerian Tribune, and the Sun newspapers to determine these patterns. Specifically, this paper, explores the relationships between use of language and socio-political contexts in which it occurs to interpret issues such as gender, ethnicity, cultural differences, ideology, identity and how these are both constructed and reflected in the texts. Hence, the analysis revealed that patterns of positive and negative stereotypes and favoritism characterized the news coverage during the periods 2015-2017 under review. It was further discovered that newspapers superficially embraced discussions and portrayals tantamount to show support for their regional affiliations on issues of national interest. By implication, this study will be of great influence to media establishments, and policy makers in peace building and policy making to effectively design new strategies of conflict management. Consequently, future studies should propose a model and enduring policy frame work on conflict management in Nigeria.

Keywords: News Framing, Critical discourse analysis, Conflict Management, farmers/herdsmen, Policy Framework

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