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Title: The role of political, socio-economic factors and the media in Nigeria's inter-religious conflict
Author: Musa, Aliyu
ISNI:       0000 0004 2724 5489
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2011
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This study is about the coverage of religious conflict in Nigerian newspapers. Although it was not originally intended to compare the coverage of the conflicts between papers in the North and those in the South of Nigeria, the perceived differential situations of the media in the two regions necessitated such a comparison. It is a qualitative research project consisting of three studies: First, there was a comparative critical examination, through critical discourse analysis, of the reports by two newspapers, THISDAY and Daily Trust, during the November 2008 religious violence in Jos, a central Nigerian city. Second, by means of interpretative phenomenological analysis interview data obtained through the semi-structured technique from Nigeria were critically analysed. Third, also applying interpretative phenomenological analysis data obtained by means of focus group interviewing from Nigeria were critically analysed. The results in all three cases suggest the newspapers are regionally, ethnically and religiously inclined; they are particularly affected by factors like ownership, location, staffing and audience perception, which determine how they tailor reports; the newspapers are not usually the cause of religious crises but they stoke the problem through biased and sometimes inflammatory reports; and, although, they are very vibrant factors like Nigeria’s economic recession, political culture – arguably comprising of violence, corruption and tribalism – and new media/technology and so on, contribute towards making their role in the conflicts one of amplification rather than mitigation. The thesis also suggests the application of Allport’s (1954) contact hypothesis using the media as a conduit towards de-emphasising dissimilarities, while emphasising similarities to reduce tension and prevent conflict.
Supervisor: Ferguson, Neil Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral