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Title: Military intervention in Nigerian politics : what has the press got to do with it?
Author: Emenyeonu, Bernard Nnamdi
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 1997
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Military intervention in Nigerian government has recurred since 1966 amidst social, economic and political crises, and the opinion in some academic and political circles is that the mass media are responsible for creating conducive atmospheres under which such crises and destabilisation flourish. The argument holds that the independent press frames governments, especially civilian administrations, so negatively that the ensuing portrayal of political catastrophe makes it imperative for a forceful intervention rather than a constitutional change. This thesis assumes that the role of the press in the socio-political scenario within which intervention takes place can be gleaned from two perspectives: analysing how issues relating to governments are presented in the press prior to the intervention that forced them out of office, and gauging journalists' impression of military intervention. The expectation is that both perspectives can yield sufficient insight into the personal and institutional factors that influence news. The content analysis of three independent Nigerian newspapers in conjunction with a questionnaire survey of 200 journalists yielded the data for the study. Relative to the questions which are central to this study, it was found that the characterisation of the two governments, especially the civilian government in the 1983 period, was highly critical. However, the extra media data which corroborated such press characterisation strongly argued for the point that the press was more of a mirror of the social and political realities that prevailed at those periods rather than an institution that was out to peddle 'negative' news or to run down governments. However, the influences of other social forces such as the press-government role relationship, institutional routines and values, and the agenda of interest groups in the entire news production process are not overlooked. Though the journalists differed in their individual perceptions of military intervention, with some of them admitting that it was either 'a necessary evil' or 'sometimes desirable', the overriding posture was far from being supportive of military rule. Even the journalists who had harboured the wish for a coup, at some point, admitted that they regretted it soon after. Furthermore, an overwhelming majority would want military intervention to be outlawed without reservations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available