Mass Media And The Coverage Of Human Rights Issues In Nigeria

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          This is a study that is pre-occupied with an in-depth analysis of the influence of Mass Media pm the coverage of Human Rights activities and also on political issues in Nigeria. Some national deilies like the vangurage, New Nigerian, Punch and Daily Times Newspapers were critically evaluated and content analyzed, on a given period of time.

          In achieving this, we embarked on a look into the extent of coverage given to human rights issues as regards their views on national political issues. The press objectivity coverage quest and the ownership restrictions were also studied to determine whether it has any relevance with ethnicity or not. There is also a drawn comparison between newspapers which area supposed to have the characters of ethnicity and those that area biased based on the ownership pattern.

          On  the whole, five hypothesis were examined. The first hypothesis says that “is privately controlled newspapers report more objectively on human rights issues in Nigeria then the government owned newspapers” which was accepted by the result of this study.

          The second hypothesis which states that tribalism and religious sentiments, play prominent role in Nigeria media more than professional Journalism in governing political right issues. The results obtained in this study also accepted this hypothesis.

          The third and fifth hypothesis also lent statistical support. However, the forth hypothesis which states that media, operating with a particular geographical location will emphasize their interest above any other consideration in their coverage of political and human rights issues was to some extend rejected.

          A part of our recommendation is that since ethnicity has been revealed to be interfering with the objective of events, identified sectionalists should be denied licenses to own news paper or other mass media gadgets to allow free hards so as to ensure objectivity of coverage and true practices of ethical Journalistic measurer. It’s therefore hoped that this research work will help to improve the mass media coverage of human right issues as this will educate and enlighten the society on their rights, which they at not fully aware of.




Title page                                                                                           ii

Approval page                                                                                    iii

Dedication                                                                                          iv

Acknowledgement                                                                              v

Abstract                                                                                             vi

Table of content                                                                                 viii    

CHAPTER ONE         

Introductions                                                                                      1       

1.0             Background of the study                                                           1

1.1     statement of the problems                                                         4

1.2     objective of the study                                                                4

1.3             Significant of the study                                                              5

1.4             Research questions                                                                             5

1.5             Hypothesis                                                                               7

1.6             Limitations of the study                                                             8


Review of the literature                                                                       10

2.0             Introduction on human right                                                      10

2.1     Sources of literature                                                                  11

2.2A   Reviews on the media with special

references to Nigerian situation                                                  12

2.2b   Emergence and development of human rights                             16

2.2c   Media biases vis – a – vis political and

human rights violation an abuse in Nigerian                                 19

2.3     summary of literature review                                                      24


Research methodology                                                                       27

3.0             Research method                                                                      27

3.1     research design                                                                         28

3.2             Research sample                                                                       28

3.3             Measuring instruments                                                               28

3.4             Data collection                                                                          29

3.5             Data analysis                                                                             29

3.6             Expected result                                                                         30

CHAPTER FOUR                 

Data analysis and results                                                                     31

4.0     Data analysis                                                                             31

4.1     results                                                                                      31

4.2             Discussion of result                                                                  36

CHAPTER FIVE                  

Summary, recommendation and conclusion                                         40

5.0     introduction                                                                                        40

5.1             Summary                                                                                  41

5.2             Recommendation                                                                      42

5.3             Conclusion                                                                              43

Bibliography                                                                             45

References                                                                               46






          The media roles in the area of human right protection can be evaluated based on the media concept which are supposed to be on ethical binding in as much as the media in information dissemination, aims at profit making, they ought not to forget that social responsibility is supposed to be their concern on public Tuterest. According to Mrs. NKEM FAB – UKOZOR, “MEDIA ETHICS AND LAW” Pg 26, she said “However, there is bound to be conflict in any situation where making profits is against serving public interest”. “Bacareing profit and social responsibility is a concern…”

          This accounts conjures well with the media ability to respond positively to the view of human right activist on major issues which are profusely identified by them. One thing among all is lack of effective leadership is a major problem contonting the euthnine met of democracy in Nigeria.

          An un-emergence of a sound economy and less politicl iolence was been linked with an ethricity and tribal sentiments, yet no a properly addressed developed account and different reactions from those so called social critics.

The mass media is a tool for success or failure of human right activities and essentially the main components of human rights activities all over the world. There is also a tool of human right abuse or violation exposis through it’s programmes and ideas of human rights activities are made for actions and the re-occuring action from the authority concerned.

          The leadership and human right problems in Nigeria, which has made it’s mark long ago, has been attributed to the mass inability to portray an objective rather un-objective responsibility since the incaption of the second republic. As researches identification, that Nigerians is endowed with greatness has been made but what has been responsible for the liability abundant talents, graduating into an effective economic and political leaders demands explanation.

          However, the media sometimes indirectly expose plans to human right violation, who then take a precantionary drastic measures before the plans are expected. This is an act of media/human right activities hard in hard partnership in combating societal odds. For instance, when in Nigeria, the pro-democracy groups and NADECO planed to communicate the  aaAnnulled June 12, 1993 presidential Election, in June 1997, which the media exposed. In response, the Federal military Government not only warned against the demonstration but also ordenes the police in all the states of the federation to deal ruthlessly with any such demonstrators.

          The idea of holding ethics loyalty above national willing is a disturbing problem in Nigeria. As a Yoruba newspaper will find it very difficult in criticizing a Yoruba leader and like other tribal owned news medias.

          This project focus on the role of human rights Acticities in Nigeria and also the pros and cons of Journalistic/media reporting as in given analysis to the activities of human right violations in the country with reference to NADECO, human right committee and pro-democracy groups.

          The emanating problem from reporting of human rights activities would also be examined objectively to see how the media fared in their reporting and analytical responsibilities. The reporter handicaps including media ownership problems will also come into place.

          In addition to ownership, investigation on some other factors hindering media coverage of human right activities were carried out. Equally were factors not mentioned  but they affect upright objective coverage.



The problem under investigation is the media coverage of human rights issues in Nigeria.

This uncovers the role of media ownership and coverage of human rights issues as concerning Nigeria.

The role of ethricity and religion will be the study mostly on their interference in the coverage if Nigeria media in politics and human rights levels.



a)     To investigate whether professional trainig of journalists or lack of it effects the media objectively.

b)    To find out the different ways of media control by government media and how it affects media coverage of human rights issues and violations.

c)     To discover whether ethricity plays any influencing role in newspaper coverage of human rights activities

d)    To find out whether different ethic groups cover human right issues differently.

e)     Whether the discrepavcies in media coverage

f)      It differs, should be attributed to tribal sentiments.



This study stands as a knowledge enhance to Journalists, media proprietor/practitioners on the influence of media ownership in objective reporting analysis.

    Aiding to this, is the works ability to stand as a solution finding to issue bordering on reportion in our media plans and houses especially where if borders on influence of mass media ownership.

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Mass Media And The Coverage Of Human Rights Issues In Nigeria