Clashes between herders and farmers in different parts of Nigeria have become a major threat to national peace and cohesion. Since the clashes began, accusations have been flying in different directions. While Nigerian authorities have been accused of being sympathetic to the herders, mass media have been criticized for perceived inadequate or lopsided reportage of government’s response to the clashes. This content-analytical study, therefore, looks into public perception of mass media reportage of the Nigerian government’s response to the clashes between herders and farmers. It also investigates the social responsibility content of mass media reports. Daily Sun and Vanguard newspapers of January to June, 2016 provided the population of 362. A sample of 190, obtained by applying Taro Yamane’s sample size determination formula was used. Even though respondents indicate that Daily Sun and Vanguard newspapers significantly covered the administration’s response to the clashes, the results of hypotheses tests showed that the level of reportage was low. The results also indicate that mass media have not lived up to their social responsibility obligations in the subject matter of this study. Therefore, increased positive application of the watchdog function and a deeper practice of socially responsible journalism are recommended.
Clashes, Analysis, Mass Media, Reportage, Response
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Chief Lecturer, Mass Communication, Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu, Nigeria, Nigeria