The media as a tool for promoting political agendas: a study of media coverage in the Niger Delta conflicts in Nigeria.
Bassey, Eno Abasiubong
ABSTRACT This study examines the role of the media in the resource driven conflicts of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. It examines the media strategies of the principal actors in an attempt to sway international sympathy to their political causes. It recognises the important role the media plays and interrogates the response of the local communities to the media. The findings of this study show that the role of the media has hugely impacted the conflicts and the principal actors rely immensely on media-driven campaigns in pursuit of their political goals. However, the Nigerian media, due to the challenges it faces from its political economic structure, stands the risk of being manipulated by actors’ public relations machinery and therefore, needs to focus on delivering to the Nigerian people and the Niger Delta citizens in particular, its corporate social responsibility role of public watchdog. While the media’s impact on the conflict has generated both positive and negative effects, as the conflicts are still playing out, it is hoped that the media’s role, would contribute to speeding up the conflict resolution process, which is still in its infancy.