Media narrative construction of human rights abuse in Nigeria
MetadataShow full item record
Human rights infractions have been a recurring issue in Nigeria. This is probably so because of the military involvement in the governance of the country in the recent past. This also probably explains why there are a plethora of human rights organisations in the country and why certain newspapers in the country also focus on the issue. This paper therefore looks at the reports of some Nigerian newspapers on incidents of human rights abuse. The paper examines the motives behind the reports, the quality of journalism (in terms of criteria of objectivity, fairness and balance), the presentation of the stories, and especially the outcome of the publications in terms of the extent to which they are able or not able to impact on the course of justice. The study is also interested in the nature of the human rights abuses, as well as the characters of individuals, groups and institutions involved. The study is predicated on journalistic codes that are universally geared towards basic tenets of objectivity, fairness and public interest. The journalistic codes are in compliance with the basic tenets of Social Responsibility Theory and the Trustee Model of journalism. The study adopts narrative research method based on the texts of reports of human rights abuses published in certain Nigerian newspapers. Interviews are also conducted with editors of the newspapers concerned. The data gathered are qualitatively analysed, while inferences are drawn from the analyses. The newspapers examined in the study did well by reporting on human rights abuses. The media can however do better in the areas of objectivity and fairness. The media also require the attribute of perseverance to follow every case of human rights abuse through so that no case is buried.
- Faculty of Humanities