ABSTRACT: The investigated on the place of mass media in conflict resolution and management in the society with a particular focus on Erin-Ile and Offa Crisis. Hence, the core objective of the study is to examine the role of mass media before, during and after crisis especially in preventing and alerting the security operative on how to cub it or reduce it. The theories that supported this study including The Agenda Setting Theory, Social Responsibility Theory and Gatekeeping Theory. A survey research method was used in this study and the data were collected using questionnaire. Cluster sampling technique was used to select respondents. The frequency and percentage method of data analysis was used to analyze the data collected. The study therefor, finds out that mass media serve as agent of enlightenment and education to people especially during crisis management. Mass media especially radio play a very crucial role during and after Offa and Erin-Ile crisis. Mass media through their news reportage make crisis information known and spread quickly to the public on a regular so that strangers and other people who are planning to travel to Offa and Erin-Ile area will stop. The study recommended that presenting good programmes of peaceful co-existing in the society will eradicate crime and crisis alongside insecurity in the society.
Keywords: Conflict Resolution
1.1 Background to the Study
Crisis, conflict and insecurity have over the year a common phenomenon in the world without exclusion of the third world and developing nations which Nigeria belong, these are caused by ethnicity, religion differences, land dispute and boundary adjustment, political interest, selfishness and other interest.
Since the amalgamation of the Sourthern and Northern protectorates in 1914, Nigeria had been moving from one crisis to the other such as either inter-tribal crisis, regional crisis, religion crisis, political crisis, ethnic crisis and other. Since the last decade, there has been a new dimension to the national security challenge rocking the nation integration, these issues bothers on national security, peace and unity. Most of these issues are witnessed in this country from one region to the another.
However, communal clashes have over the year a common phenomenon in the third world and developing nations of the world which Nigeria is inclusive, these are caused by ethnicity, religion differences, tribal, land dispute and boundary adjustment. Ethnicity refers to a group of people with a common socio/cultural identity such as language, common worldview, religion and common cultural traits (Boaten, 2000).
Thus, ethnic groups are social formations distinguished by the communal character (such as language and culture) of their boundaries Nnoli, (2001). In other words, ethnic groups represent categories of people characterized by cultural symbols including language, value systems and normative behaviour, and whose members are anchored in a particular territory (Otite, 2000). Actually, the word ethnic is derived from the Greek word ethnos which means a group of people who share a common and distinctive culture.
In this context, Offa and Erin-Ile community clashes is the focus of this research which who engage each other constantly on land depute. The research looks into the role played by the mass media in curbing the situtation and if possible apply the technique to other similar situation.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Mass media reportage of crisis issues and other conflicting issues that bothers on Nigeria society with the view to curb the problem may consciously and unconsciously compound the issue, due to various factors not limited to poor training, ignorance of media practitioners on national interest, social responsibility, conflict reporting, ownership, media involvement in the conflicts, inadequate gatekeeping and related events happening elsewhere. Often the media simply do not understand enough about conflict dynamics in general, the particular issues or people that they are writing about to avoid making conflict situations worse, rather than better. Furthermore, they usually work on tight deadlines; this does not give them time to develop the deep understanding of an issue that is necessary to analyse it accurately and clearly for the public. Bukar (2014).
Studies have shown that the way conflicts are reported play a large part in the outcomes of the conflicts. It is no longer enough for journalist to stick to the ethics of journalism of balance, fairness, and equity, but also add to that, journalist should themselves be ethical beings, that is look at the implication of a particular story, and if that particular story has the potential of creating further conflict if reported in a particular way. Reports from conflicts should focus on human angle, which are stories that bind rather than those that divide. Journalist should not pick sides but rather try to avoid further conflicts from erupting. It is against this background that the research examines the role of mass media in conflict resolution and management with a particular focus on Offa and Erin-Ile communal clash.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
- To examine the causes of communal crisis in Offa and Erin-Ile?
- To know how effective are mass media in the coverage of Offa and Erin-Ile communal crisis?
1.4 Research Questions
- What is the major cause of communal crisis in Nigeria?
- How effective are mass media in the coverage of Offa and Erin-Ile communal crisis?
1.5 Scope of the Study.
The research which investigated the place of mass media in conflict resolution and management was narrowed in scope to Offa and Erin-Ile communal clash, Kwara State. Hence, the geographical location of this study was Offa and Erin-Ile in Kwara State. Since it is impossible to cover all clashes that had occurred in Nigeria.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study will beneficial to media practitioners as well as mass communication students to know some of the challenges and role of mass media in crisis management.
Public: Members of the public will gain an insight on how they should used the media mesage particularly to be more conscious of the strange move, people and other suspecious approach in their domain to curb problems.
Government agencies: It will guide government and its agencies on the need to always embrace dialogue rather than combating issues. Also, it will assist government and its agencies to properly conduct themselves in the public to guide against public sentiment particularly the National Orientation Agency, News Agency of Nigeria, Nigeria Broadcasting Commission etc
Media Organisation: This study will be beneficial to the media practitioners as well as mass communication students to know some of the challenges and role of mass media in crisis management while they will see reasons to be extra ordinary careful in writing stories particularly the pattern of frames used in order not to give undue attention to issues that preaches violence rather than national interest and unity because over reportage of terrorism by the media add to their strength.
The study underscores the special need for conflict-sensitive reporting amongst journalism practitioners. This will include their choice of words, avoiding bias and moving from reportage which inflames passions to reportage that builds unity and peace.
Researcher: Future researchers and students will find the material relevant as it formed bulk literature that exist in the field of mass communication, political communication etc that they can lay hands on when carrying out research related or similar to this.
1.7 Operational Definition of the Terms
Place: This is the role or responsibilities expected of mass media during crisis between Offa and Erin-Ile in 2013, 2017 and 2021
Mass Media: In this research, mass media refers to both print and broadcast media used in reporting and discussing crisis between Offa and Erin-Ile in 2013, 2017 and 2021
Conflict: This is the state of disorderliness that led to the crisis between Offa and Erin-Ile in crisis between Offa and Erin-Ile in 2013, 2017 and 2021.
Resolution: These are mass media steps in bringing peace into Offa and Erin-Ile when violence erupted as a result of communal clashes 2013, 2017 and 2021.
“PLACE OF MASS MEDIA IN CONFLICT RESOLUTION & MANAGEMENT“
WHAT TO EXPECT: (Chapter 1-5, Abstract, Table of Contents, Questionnaire and References)