THE INVOLVEMENT OF THE NIGERIAN MASS MEDIA IN THE LIBERIAN CONFLICT

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THE INVOLVEMENT OF THE NIGERIAN MASS MEDIA IN THE LIBERIAN CONFLICT

 

INTRODUCTION
This research focuses on the involvement of the Nigerian mass media in the Liberian conflicts. The Nigerian mass media like every other information media is involved in the gathering, evaluating and distributing of facts about current issues, this was the case in the civil war in Liberia which Nigerian journalist greatly impacted. Throughout the crisis independent press played a critical role in reporting the unpredicted military campaigns and consequences. the Nigeria press also took a leading role in criticizing the military and its activities and in fact campaign in favour of an end to military rule and the establishment of constitutional rule.

Most of the period of conflict the Nigeria press was antagonist, to Samuel Doe and to the federal Government of Nigeria, while they had mixed feelings and reservations towards Charles Taylor. The press wondered at the obvious sympathy of the federal Government with the government of Samuel Doe. So while the federal government tried to use its various media houses to whip-up sentiments for embattled Samuel Doe, other private media houses and some state Newspaper criticized Samuel Doe for provoking the civil war, and that he (Doe) should sum-up courage to relinquish his position as Head of state for peace to return to Liberia. For that, it was to pay an even dearer price after the transition collapsed and a new wave of repression was unleashed.

In journalism, reporters research and write stories for print and electronic distribution often with the guidance of editors or producers. The earliest journalists produced their stories for news sheets, circulars, newspapers, and periodicals. They provide commentary on politics, economics, and arts and culture, and sometimes include entertainment features, such as comics and crossword puzzles. The press in Nigeria has remained a diverse, outspoken institution, regardless of whether an elected government or a military regime is in power. It has sought to act as a check on those in authority, but its effectiveness has sometimes been vitiated by governmental legislation, by ethnic, religious and political influences, by its own economic vulnerability, and by the inadequacies of the men and women who report and comment on the news.

Justification of Research
Despite the fact that the Nigerian Mass Media had a great impact in the Liberian civil war, its efforts in the course of the war has not been sufficiently examined by scholars. Therefore this research is to bring to limelight the major issues in the Nigerian Press coverage of the civil war.
The research revealed the fact that while a few newspapers and particularly some of the independent news weeklies sought a more or less balanced and vigorous coverage of the unfolding crisis in Liberia others performed not as independent arbiters but as partisans in various guises and disguises and consequently they fell victim to the lack of integrity. While these shortcomings continued to constrain the credibility and democratic impact of the most Nigerian Press houses, few showed a resilience and independence of objectives reportage throughout the conflict.

Aims and Objectives
The aim of this research is to examine the involvement of the Nigerian mass media in the Liberian conflict while its objectives are to

Investigate the issues that propel the Nigerian Journalists in their involvement in Liberia.

Expose the modus oprandi of the mass media as well as its attitude to conflicts and war

Highlight the challenges of the Nigerian mass media in the reportage of the Liberian civil war

Analyze the impacts of the Nigerian journalists and the media outfit in the Liberian conflict.

Scope of Study
The scope of the research spanned from 1989 when the first phase of the Liberian civil war began till 2003 when the war ended.

CHAPTER ONE
THE NIGERIAN MASS MEDIA: A HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION 
The mass media involves gathering, evaluating, and distributing facts of current interest. In journalism, reporters research and write stories for print and electronic distribution often with the guidance of editors or producers.1 The earliest journalists produced their stories for news sheets, circulars, newspapers, and periodicals. With technological advances, journalism came to include other media, such as radio, documentary or newsreel films, television, and the Internet. Newspaper publications are usually issued on a daily or weekly basis, the main function of which is to report news. Many newspapers also furnish special information to readers, such as weather reports, television schedules, and listings of stock prices.2 They provide commentary on politics, economics, and arts and culture, and sometimes include entertainment features, such as comics and crossword puzzles. In nearly all cases and in varying degrees, newspapers depend on commercial advertising for their income.

 

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THE INVOLVEMENT OF THE NIGERIAN MASS MEDIA IN THE LIBERIAN CONFLICT

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