Mass Communication Project Topics

Role of Media in Combatting Terrorism

Role of Media in Combatting Terrorism

Role of Media in Combatting Terrorism


Research Objectives

  1. To find out if there is cooperation between media and the security agencies in combating national security challenges in
  2. To investigate if the relationship between the media and security agencies affects the fight against insecurity in
  3. To investigate if the partnership between the media and the security agencies will bring about a lasting solution to combating insecurity.


Literature Review

Insecurity in Nigeria

In today’s Nigeria, the moment the word “insecurity” is mentioned, what usually sends fears down the spines of everyone is Boko Haram, banditry, and kidnapping. Apparently, it is safe to jokingly say that the fear of the trio of these today in Nigeria is the beginning of wisdom.

Omoyibo & Akpomera (2013), note that the concept of security exists before the state, and the reason the state exists is to provide that same concept. Security is the prime responsibility of the state (Thomas Hobbes, 1996), and in any state or nation where this is lacking, such state or nation is said to be suffering from insecurity.

The 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria expressly places the security and welfare of the people in the hands of the government as its primary purpose. Unfortunately, the government has failed in its constitutional responsibility of providing an environment that is secured and safe for lives, properties and for conducting business and economic activities.

The increasing rate of insecurity in Nigeria has propelled the rate of crime and terrorists attacks in various parts of the country, leaving dire consequences for the economy and its growth. To address the threat to national security and combat the increasing wave of crime, the federal government in the 2013 budget made a huge allocation to security, and in 2011, the Anti- Terrorism Act was passed by the national assembly (Ewetan, 2013).

According to (Nwanegbo & Odigbo, 2013; Kruhmann, 2003) These efforts notwithstanding, the insecurity level is still very high in the country, and to confirm this, the Global Peace Index ranked Nigeria low (GPI, 2012). Despite the many security measures put in place to address the overwhelming challenges of insecurity in Nigeria, efforts by the government have not been able to bring about the much needed positive result. This has forced the government of Nigeria recently to ask for foreign assistance from Israel, EU countries, and the USA, to fight the increasing waves of terrorism and insecurity. In the midst of the degenerating security level in the country, Nigeria is also faced with pressing challenges of development which stands as a serious threat to socio-economic development. Some of these developmental challenges include high youth unemployment, low industrial output, rural and urban poverty, general unemployment, unstable exchange rate, high inflation rate, lack of adequate physical and social infrastructure, rising domestic and external debt (Ewetan, 2013).

With a youth population of 80 million, a number that represents about 60 percent of the total population, and having a growth rate of 2.6 percent per year, the national demography suggests that there remains a vibrant youth population with an average annual entrant to the labor force at

1.8 million between 2006 and 2011. In 2011, 37.7 per cent of Nigerians were aged 15-24 years and 22.4 per cent of those between ages 25 and 44 were willing to work but did not get jobs.



RESERCH Methodology

Research Design

The study makes use of qualitative in-depth interview to generate data. Wimmer and Dominick (2006), describe interview as a qualitative research technique used in survey research as an intensive or an in-depth interview. Berger (2000:111) notes that interview technique can simply be described as a conversation between a researcher (the individual who wants to gain vital information on a subject) and another called an informant( the individual with information which is of interest on the subject) The goal of interview in this research technique is to obtain data or information.

 Research population and sample

The researcher adopts purposive sampling because Aliagan (2015) and Ekhareofo, Asemah and Edegoh, (2013) adopts this method in their studies on newspaper challenges in Nigeria. They recommend that qualitative research is based on experience and in the construction of meaning making. Aliagan (2015) observed that qualitative research when contrasted with quantitative research does not have a sample that is predetermined. The specific research questions/objective drawn determines the sample and its size for in-depth interview. Thus, from the views of the researchers presented, the sample for qualitative study is decided upon by the researcher for this study who knows the category of people that can provide   the information     he      seeks. Thus, journalists and security agents who are sufficiently knowledgeable about the media partnership with security agents in tackling insecurity in the country were selected. These respondents are selected because they work in newspapers that are registered and because they are security professionals.



Result and Findings

Media role as a partner with security agents in combating insecurity

According to respondents three and four who are media men, the surveillance role of the media says that the media should provide information to the society which is used in opinion molding and attitude adoption. When the media performs the correlation role, it conveys news and events that happen in society to the people. It interprets and explains the happenings and their implications on the masses lives and also on the environment.




The use of the mass media in fighting insecurity in Nigeria come with challenges. Lack of proper investigation, the reluctance by people to come forward with information, the fear people have that they will be attacked by terrorists, journalists lack of life insurance, media self censorship because they are afraid of government victimization, meager take home pay, and not having access to scenes where terrorist acts take place are among the roadblocks to mass media reporting of acts of insecurity (Udoudo and Diriyai, 2012, p. 91).

The citizens are required to up their game in the use of civic or citizen journalism through the media available to them so that they complement media workers to expose and combat insecurity in Nigeria just as journalists and media workers are encouraged to keep being responsible in their reportage in order to fight the monster of insecurity.

Responsible journalism, such that is devoid of messages that have the capacity of creating tension in the polity and the society should be encouraged. As observed by Orhewere & Kur (2004), media practice which can be viewed as responsible journalism in times of conflict implies that no inaccuracies, confusion, distortions, errors of facts or conflict is carried in media reports.

Journalists engage in some dangerous conflict reporting in public interest, therefore their welfare should be top priority. One of such is the provision of insurance packages which will boost their performance. When a journalist’s take-home is discouraging, and also irregular, there will be no zeal to carry out journalistic investigations he or she feels constitutes a risk to his life. To keep journalists or media workers up to date with what is trending in the use of mass media to combat insecurity, frequent workshops on mass media in a multi-cultural society, professional journalism, conflict reporting, reporting terrorism, journalism ethics, among various topics are vital. With these knowledge on how to engage in specialized journalism, the mass media will not be used as a tool to escalate the monster of insecurity.


The study makes the following recommendations

  • For effective partnership of the media and security agents in combating insecurity, journalist should always ensure that they are up to date with the latest information about the specialized reporting of security through periodic capacity building workshops and
  • Both parties, that is, security agents and the media should see themselves as partners and stakeholders who are saddled with the onerous task of restoring peace and security of lives and properties with clear defined professional responsibilities and limitations which do not impugn on each

There should be high level of professionalism on the part of the media and security agents, by not exposing the modus operandi of both parties to avoid any form of sabotage in the quest of achieving the defined target of tackling security.


  • Aliagan, I. Z. (2015). Examining Survival Strategies Employed by Nigerian Newspapers. New Media and Mass Communication, IISTE, Vol.35, P. 1-9.
  • Asemah, E. S. (2009). Selected Mass Media Themes. Jos: University Press .
  • Asplund, M., Eriksson , R., & Strand , N. (2002). Prices, Margins and Liquidity Constraints:Swedish Newspapers 1990-1992. CEPR Discussion (p. No. 3271). London: Center for Economic Policy Research.
  • Berger, A. A. (2000). Media and Communication Research. London: Sage Publication. Boczkowski, P. J. (2012). Newspaper culture and technical innovation 1980-2005. In W. R.
  • Neuman, Media, Technology, and Society: Theories of Media Evolution. (pp. 22-28). Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
  • Chinenye, N., Ephraim , E., & Chinwe, E. (2013, july). Print Media Objectivity and Advertising Revenue: An Appraisal. An International Multidisciplinary Journal, 6(3), 1-8.
  • Christensen, C. M. (1997). The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail . Boston: Harvard Business.
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