Newspaper Coverage Of Boko Haram Activities In Nigeria (A Study Of Daily Sun And The Nation Newspapers Between April-May, 2011)

Boko Haram
Boko Haram
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This study was carried out with the sole objective to determine how Daily Sun and the Nation Newspapers covered Boko Haram Activities in Nigeria between April and May 2011. The researcher highlighted on the research problems and used them to raise four research questions and four research hypotheses; literature relating to the topic under study was reviewed through both primary and secondary sources of literature. The researcher used content analysis as the research method that enable her to use manifest contents of Daily Sun and the Nation Newspapers were able to cover the activities of Boko Haram in Nigeria between April and May 2011. The code sheet was used to analyze data from the newspapers covering 152 editions. Then, the researcher summarized the topic under study, drew conclusion and made recommendation based on the finding she made.



1.1        Background of the study

1.2        Statement of the research problem

1.3        Objectives of the study

1.4        Significance of the study

1.5        Research questions

1.6        Research hypothesis

1.7        Definition of terms

1.8        Scope and limitation of the study

1.9        Theoretical frame work



2.1 Sources of literature

2.2.1 Meaning and origin of Boko Haram as a terrorist

Organization in Nigeria

2.2.2 The origin of Boko Haram

2.2.3 Boko Haram activities or its terrorists

Attack Nigeria

2.2.4 The need to use mass media to cover

The activities of Boko Haram as a terrorist’s organization

2.3 Summary of literature review



3.1 Research methodology

3.2 Research design

3.3 research population

3.4 sample size

3.5 sample techniques

3.6 Measuring instrument

3.7 Method of data collection

3.8 Method of data analysis

3.9 Expected result (s)




4.1 Data presentation and analysis

4.2  analysis of research questions/hypothesis

4.3 discussion of result



5.1 Summary

5.2 Conclusion

5.3 Recommendation





The media have a distinctive culture in which images sounds, words and tenses help produce patterns of daily life behavior. Through the help of the media, individuals, groups and the society itself are made to understand how different issues go on in the society. We learn about issues which otherwise couldn’t have learnt through our consumption of the media.

This to a great extent helps us to form our individual and group opinions as a result of those mass media contents we consume. No wonder Ndolo (2006:32) citing Watter Lippman, states that the media help put pictures in our heads “An extension of this statement by Mccombs and show 1972, 1976) was highlighted by Ndolo (earlier cited) that audience not only learn about public issues and other matters through the media, they also learn how much importance to attach to an issue or topic from the emphasis the mass media place upon it.

A better understanding of mass media coverage of Boko Haram Activities in Nigeria with special reference to “Daily Jan” and the Nation Newspapers could be said to be better appreciated by our ability to understate the role, the media play in information gathering and dissemination in general. This is based on the premise that the media act as the watchdog of the society by mirroring the society and giving the society information about itself.

In Nigeria today, violence based on assassination, kidnapping, suicide bombing and a host of other vices seem to dominate media coverage of social issues going on in the country. But the most worrisome among them now, is the activity of the sect, terrorist group and religious fundamentalism group called Boko Haram. The terrorist group based on Borno and Bauchi states has stamped its authority as a deadly group to pear in the country evidences abound because the terrorist organization has carried out all sorts of bombings in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state. Also, the group have clashed with the Nigerian police force in the past as well as bomb some police stations in Bauchi and Borno states to drive its messages home.

Also, Daily sun, Wednesday, June 29,2011, page 20, in its inside page headline “ the Boko Haram riddle wrote that of all the recent development in the polity, one serious issue stands out as seriously deserving of attention. It is the Boko Haram riddle. This is a problem that is claiming so many lives and properly yet, No matter how hard Nigerian wish the problem of the religious fundamentalist sect which believes education is a scene to go away; it becomes more serious by day. Hardly any day passed without reports of bombs being detonated in one part of the north or the other. When Nigerians thought that the bomb explosion at the Nigerian police Head quarters, Abuja, on June 16 was the climate of the saga that would force a prompt resolution of the problem by the authorities, the bombing have continued unabated.

Through its persistent bombing of so many parts of the counting as well as claiming responsibility over such terrorist acts, Boko Haram has left no one in doubt that, it is out to kill, maim, kidnap and do all sorts of in human things in Nigeria. It is quite interesting to note that the rate at which this terrorists organization perpetrating terror in the country if adequate information is not provided by those charged with information gathering and dissemination on Nigeria, it will not be a surprise to hear that Boko Haram has taken over the security of the nation, by determining where to bomb or not.

In line with the above, it is important to state that the place of newspapers in the coverage of social activitives such as, sucide attacks, assassination, arson and other negative activities going on in our society cannot be over emphasized. This is based on social responsibility principle of the media as well as their watch dog roles. They help their audience members to understand how best to shape their opinions on social issues. As McQuail and Windahl (1981:36) would assert.

The medium image held by the receiver causes expectations of the media content and may thus be assumped to have in influence of the receiver’s choice as well as on his way of experiencing it and responding it.

The statement above simply means that through the information provided by “Daily sun” and the Nation” newspaper, Nigerians can be sensitized on how the activities of Boko Haram are carried as well as how to avoid having contact with those who kill on the name of Boko Haram.


In Nigeria today, many people are fearful of being attacked or killed by suicide bombers. Their fears seem to be based on the premise that they do not have proper or adequate information on how the organization operates carries out the deadly assaults. Also, most media critics in Nigeria seem to think that the media in general and Daily sun and the Nation Newspapers did not give objective and proper coverage of the activities of Boko Haram between April and May 2011. As a result of these factors, Nigerians cannot easily know who appears to be a terrorist or how a suspicious suicide bomber and others can be identified.

Another problem is that many think that the federal government and its security agencies have not done enough to protect lives and property in the country and that our security agencies have failed to fight Boko Haram and other religious/terrorist organizations in Nigeria to a perfect defect. These problems and the fact that religious intolerance, ethnicity, unemployment.

Poverty and lack of proper socialization seem to pose a great danger as the major reasons why Boko Haram keeps penetrating violent acts at different parts of Nigeria.

It is as a result of the identified social problem that made this researcher to embark on this type of study.


The following are the major objectives for embracing on this study. They include:

1-   To determine whether mass media gave paper coverage of the activities of Boko Haram in Nigeria between April and May 2001.

2-   To determine whether Nigerians are properly informed by Daily sun and the Nation Newspapers on the activities of Boko Haram in the country.

3- To find out whether federal Government and its security agencies have done enough to protect lives and property in Nigeria.

4- To find out whether our security agencies can stop the act of terrorism in the country.

5- To determine whether poverty and unemployment are causes of Nigerians involvement in terrorists acts.

6- To ascertain whether the media give proper socialization and sensitization of Nigerians on Boko Haram activities.

7- To make recommendations based on the findings from the study.


The uniqueness of this study is based on the premise that not many researchers have done much on this topic. This is based on the fact that the issue of Boko Haram and its deadly activities gained much prominence from the Nigerian mass recently. As a result of the above, this study will add to the already existing literature on terror, violence and other forms of social vices on Nigeria.

Also, the importance of this study will be to benefit the general public in Nigeria particularly newspapers readers in order to understand how Boko Haram as a deadly fundamentalist group operates in the country the study will also be of immense benefit to media practitioners in Nigeria. It will help them (the media) to understand how best to generate and disseminate information on Boko Haram activities as well as how to use such information to sensitize their audience members on acts of terrorism, particularly those carried out by Boko Haram.

This study will benefit the three- tears of government the federal, the state and local government on how best to prevent future attacks of Nigeria and Nigerians. It will also benefit government security agencies, so that they can understand how best to fight against terrorism in the country.


Based on the identified research problems and the objectives of this study, the researcher hereby pose four research questions.

They include:

1-   Did mass media give proper coverage of the activities of Boko Haram in Nigeria between April and May 2011?

2-   Are Nigerians properly informed by Daily sun and the Nation newspapers on the activities of Boko Haram in the country?

3-   Have the federal government and its agencies done enough to fight the activities of Boko Haram in Nigeria?

4-   Are poverty and unemployment the major causes of Nigerians involvement in terrorist’s acts?


In line with the researcher hereby formulates the following research hypothesis they are:

H1: Mass media gave proper coverage of the activities of Boko Haram in Nigeria between April and May 2011.

H0: Mass media do not give proper coverage of the activities of Boko Haram in Nigeria between April and May 2011.

H2: Nigerians are properly informed by Daily sun and Nation Newspapers on the activities of Boko Haram in the country.

H0: Nigerians are not properly informed by Daily sun and Nation Newspapers on the activities of Boko Haram in the country.

H3: The federal government and its agencies have done enough to fight the activities of Boko Haram in Nigeria.

H0: The federal government and its agencies have not done enough to fight the activities of Boko Haram in Nigeria.


The major terms that formed the topic of this study are hereby defined conceptually and operationally. The conceptual definitions are the dictionary or litera meanings of those terms, where as ther operational the definition are their working meanings according to the topic.

They are:


Conceptional Definition: source of information and news such as newspapers, magazines, radio, televisions that reach and influence large numbers of people.

Operational Definition: the use of Daily sun and the nation newspapers to inform Nigerians on the activities of Boko Haram between April and May 2011.


Conception definition: the reporting of news items in newspapers, radio, television and other mass media.

Operational definition: those Daily sun and the nation newspapers reports on the activities of Boko Haram to Nigerians between April and May 2011.


Conceptual Definition: Those situations in which things are happening. Things that you do for interest or pleasure, or in order to achieve a particular aim.

Operational definition: Those terrorists of Boko Haram which the organization carry out to kill, maim, destroy between April and May 2011 which are continually published by Daily sun and the Nation newspapers and other mass media in Nigeria.


Conceptual definition:  A set of large printed sheets of paper containing news, articles, advertisements, e.t.c and published every day or every week.

Operational definition: those large sheets of such as Daily sun and the nation used in the coverage of different terrorist activities carried out by Boko Haram in Nigeria between April and May 2011.


The researcher having considered the topic under study and its objectives, decided to anchor this study on social responsibilities theory’’

The origin of this theory was based on American initiative the 1947 Hutchen’s commission which was asked to study the role of the press in a society and the freedom of the press in an ideal society. As Ukozor and Nwodu ( 2003:44) state that the social responsibility theory was propounded based on the need to once again restore order and revive the credibility of mass media…’’ the authors went further to itemize the propositions of this theory to include.

1-   The mass media should responsibly accept to fulfil certain obligations to society.

2-   The media should set high professional, standards in respect to truth; accuracy; fairness and balance to ensure the at journalists meet with societal obligations.

3-   Society and the public have the right to expect high standards of performance and interventions can be justified to secure the public good e.t.c.

Baran (1999:389) opined in his discuss that media should avoid disseminating material that might offend minority group’’. In their own contribution on the concept of social responsibility theory, Agbo and Okoro (2003:23) state that “the major opinion being canvassed by social responsibility theorists is that the media should fulfill certain obligations and expectations for society. It is in doing this that the media becomes socially responsible.

This theory is important to our study because through objective coverage of Boko Haram activities in Nigeria and the fulfillment of media obligations in Nigeria. Daily sun and the nation as well as other mass media will use their messages and contents to sensitize, inform and educate Nigerians on the activities of Boko Haram, these will go a long way to help Nigerians to avoid being victims of terrorism as well as report suspicious terrorists and their acts.

This is why the research hinged their study on the social responsibility theory.

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