Niger delta conflict: a framing and critical discourse analysis of news media coverage
Ogwuegbu, Ezinne Favour
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis, “Niger Delta Conflict: A Framing and Critical Discourse Analysis of News Media Coverage”, examines the media’s representation of the Niger Delta conflict and its main conflicting actors. In conflicting reporting, the media can play influential roles of engaging in peace/conflict journalism or in war/violence journalism. The study adopted framing theory and the media’s agenda setting function, predicated upon the need to rectify the inadequate focus on the Nigerian news media’s framing of the conflict in the Niger Delta. It also investigated the gaps between the media’s reporting of the conflict, and academia. It employed qualitative content analysis through framing analysis of the literature (identifying conceptual frames and causes-solutions to the conflict), consequently used to analyze 114 media articles from The Punch and The Guardian – both purposefully selected due to their independent status, presence online and widespread audience, for the period 2016 to March 2020. Additionally, a brief critical discourse analysis of the news articles from 2016 (39 articles), was performed to further explore the thesis objectives, through select tools. Featured interviews were omitted from the article samples. The research results concluded that the government and oil corporations enjoyed more positive slant in the media, indicating relative bias, with the local actors more negatively portrayed (militant activities foregrounded over the core reasons for agitation). Economic loss was promoted in salience, at the expense of the roots of the Niger Delta’s restiveness. Reports were mainly episodic, concentrating on specifics, without frequent recourse to analysis/background information. 2016 reports centered more on incidents of violence perpetuation. The results revealed both similarities and significant gaps between academia and the news media framing of the conflict. This study had limitations, however, it will provide reference for: future extensive research on the media’s role in the region’s crisis – especially studies that seek to assess any gaps in representation via use of additional empirical data sources (e.g. interviews, more newspapers, questionnaires and comparative analysis of newspapers); studies that seek to study salience promotion in the conflict via interviewing of editors of relevant news media.
The following license files are associated with this item: