Mass Media And The Coverage Of Human Rights Issues In Nigeria

Human Rights
Human Rights
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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.




1.0              Background of the study

1.1       statement of the problems

1.2       objective of the study

1.3              Significant of the study

1.4              Research questions

1.5              Hypothesis

1.6              Limitations of the study


Review of the literature

2.0              Introduction on human right

2.1       Sources of literature

2.2  A   Reviews on the media with special

references to Nigerian situation

2.2b     Emergence and development of human rights

2.2c     Media biases vis – a – vis political and

human rights violation an abuse in Nigerian

2.3       summary of literature review


Research methodology

3.0              Research method

3.1       research design

3.2              Research sample

3.3              Measuring instruments

3.4              Data collection

3.5              Data analysis

3.6              Expected result


Data analysis and results

4.0       Data analysis

4.1       results

4.2              Discussion of result


Summary, recommendation and conclusion

5.0       introduction

5.1              Summary

5.2              Recommendation

5.3              Conclusion






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.


a)      Do privately owned Newspapers report objectively on human rights issues in Nigeria than government owned Newspapers?

b)      Do tribalism and religious sentiments play prominent roles in Nigeria media more than any other issues or political events?

c)      Do Nigerian Newspapers reflect issues of human rights in the content of their papers?

d)     Do mass media operating withing a particular geographical location emphasizes that interest above any other consideration in the coverage of political and human rights isues?

e)      Do News papers operating in Nigeria attain objectively in their coverage of political and human rights issues irrespective of what is at stake ethrically?

All these would contribute to the existing pool knowledge on media coverage of human rights issues in Nigeria. The study is expected to enhance Journalistc professionalism by identifying the issues that hinder objective and balanced reporting on Nigerian media.


On the process of giving vivid explanation on the course of investigating influencing factor affecting roles of media and coverage of human rights issues in Nigeria. The following hypotheses have been drawn.


H1       Private owned newspaper report objectively on human rights issues in   Nigeria than government owned Newspapers.

Ho       Private owned News papers do not report more objectively, issues of human rights in Nigeria than government owned newspaper.


H1       Tribalism and religious sentiments play prominent role in Nigeria media much more than any other issues or political events.

Ho       Tribalism and religious sentiments do not play significant role in Nigeria media.


H1       mass media operating within a particular geographical location will emphasize their interest above consideration in the coverage of political and human right issues.

Ho       Mass media in Nigeria within a particular geographical location will not emphasize the interest of that location in coverage of political and human right issues.

1)      Presumptions are on the view that ethnic the coverage at Nigerian newspaper in political Journalism.

2)      The researchers assume that with the dependent notion on ethnic basis and views, Newspaper house lays their political issues coverage.

3)      It is also assumed that tribal sentiments will prevail over national unity in the coverage of human right issues.

4)      Presumably, ethnic brase will attect the degree of credibility of newspapers across the ethnic regions

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