the role of mass media in crisis management in nigeria



1.1    Background to the Study

Communal clashes have over the years had a common phenomenon in the developing nations of the world, which Nigeria is inclusive.Ethnicity, religious differences, tribal, and land dispute and boundary adjustment cause these. Ethnicity refers to a group of people with a common socio/cultural identity such as language, worldview, religion, and cultural traits, Boaten(2000).

Thus, ethnic groups are social formations distinguished by the communal character (such as language and culture) of their boundaries Nnoli (1980). In other words, ethnic groups represent categories of people characterized by cultural symbols including language, value systems and normative behaviour, and whose members are anchored in a particular territory Otite (1990). Actually, the word ethnic is derived from the Greek word ethnos which means a group of people who share a common and distinctive culture.

In its classical meaning, ethnic relates to a member of a particular group, Imobighe, (2003). Hence ethnicity according to Imobighe should be seen as the feeling of belonging to a distinctive cultural or linguistic group, or a manifestation of ethnic consciousness in relation to other groups. Conflicts arise from the pursuit of divergent interests, goals and aspirations by individuals or groups in defined social and physical environments Otite (1999). As observed in the literature, ethnic conflict derives their rationale and configuration from perceived socio/cultural differences.

In fact, Otite (1990) presents a picture of ethnicity as the contextual discrimination by members of one group against others on the basis of differentiated system of socio-cultural symbols. He affirms that ethnicity has the properties of common group consciousness and identity and also group exclusiveness on the basis of which social discriminations are made. In most cases, as Nigerian experience shown results to violent intractable conflicts.

1.2    Statement Problem

This study examines the role of mass media in crisis resolution with  particular reference to Anambra Broadcasting Service, Awka (ABS).

Research on communal crisis and media role is usually difficult if not impossible. This study is examining the role of mass media in crisis resolution.

1.3    Objectives of the Study

1. To examine causes of communal crisis in Nigeria

2. To know how effective mass media are in the coverage of communal crisis by ABS Awka.

3. To know some of the challenges rendering mass media weak in coverage of

Communal crisis

4. To examine the role of mass media in cubing communalcrisis?

5. How has mass media enhanced relationship between the people of the


1.4    Research Questions

1.  What is the major cause of communal crisis in Nigeria?

2.   How effective are mass media in the coverage of communal crisis?

3.   Is there any challenges rendered, mass media weak in the coverage of communal crisis?

4.   How does mass media assist in cubing communal crisis?

5.    How has mass media enhanced relationship between the people of the communities?

1.5    Scope of the Study.

The scope of this study resides in the topic of the research work; the scope of the study will be limited to communal clash. Since it is not possible to cover all clashes that have occurred in Nigeria. However, despite the limitations, the result of the research will be generalized, leaving the researcher to look into this Local Governments in Anambra Ltate (Nnewi South).

1.6    Significance of the Study

This study will be beneficial to media practitioners as well as mass communication students to know some of the challenges and role of mass media in crisis management.

The research will be of benefit to the government by learning from public opinion of the respondents on strategies they need to employ in cubing communal clashes to see the pains that people are passing through.

Academically, the study will form an extension of knowledge to the academic study for future researchers.

This will also help other researchers to further investigate other aspect this research might not be able to cover.

1.7    Definition of Terms

Role: This is the function or responsibilities expected of mass media.

Mass Media: These are means of communicating to large, scatter, and heterogeneous audience used in waging war against terrorism in Nigeria.

Crisis: This is the state of disorderliness that engulfed the nation Nigeria after 2011 general election

Resolution: This is media step in bringing peace into the country when violence erupted because of announcement of 2011 presidential election result.

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