Media Narrative Creation of Inter-Religious Conflict and Its Repercussion on National Development in Nigeria: A Dialectic Discourse on the Media’s Role as an Instrument for Conflict Construction and Management

Adamkolo Mohammed Ibrahim, Muhammad Nura Nguru


This paper examined the extent to which the mass media narrative serves as an instrument of the escalation, degeneration and de-escalation of religious-related conflicts in Nigeria, especially in the Northern part of the country and the consequent effects of the role of the mass media in national development. Thus, the media narrative is seen as a factor constructing religious conflicts which occur so often. The sources of the literature reviewed were the main method employed in the collection of data. Grounded in the mediatisation theory perspective, this paper examined news reports and analysis, editorials, contents of newspapers, radio broadcasts, television news and international news agencies’ reports on ethnoreligious conflicts. From the analysis, the paper highlights that even in instances when conflicts arose as a result of other factors, they usually assumed religious colourations thus making them intractable and the mass media in the country during reportage of inter-religious conflicts play roles as diverse as the interests of their owners and editors: geographical locations and ethnic and religious affiliations. This paper, therefore, recommends a paradigm shift in the inter-religious narrative by the media to play down conflict situations rather than escalate them for national development. This is because conflicts, generally, are complex and so their narrative should be handled with care to avoid generation and escalation of further conflicts. This paper also proposes that ethnic identity, political identity and religious identity influence media narrative of religious conflicts in Nigeria. Policy recommendations were offered at the end.

Keywords: Islam and Christianity in Nigeria, Media and ethnoreligious conflict in Nigeria, Media and inter-religious conflict in Nigeria, Media and conflict resolution, Media narrative of conflicts, Mediatisation of religious issues

DOI: 10.7176/NMMC/91-04

Publication date:June 30th 2020

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3267 ISSN (Online)2224-3275

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