1.1 Background to the Study
The encyclopedia dictionary of the English language defines “peace” as a state of tranquility or quietness, freedom from war or hostility, public tranquility and order in a state of harmony.
Armed with this definition, We need to ask ourselves, does peace exist in Nigeria? The answer to this question is simple as it may appear not easy. It is not the intention of this research to answer this question but to present the prevailing circumstances in Nigeria of today and review the role the mass media can play in the attainment of peace as we are now into the 21stcentury.
The important role media play in fostering an environment of good governance, peace and national unity needs hardly to be emphasized. As the watchdog and interpreter of public issues and events, the media has a special role in every society. In information-based society, the media have a disproportionately visible and influential role.
Owning to its diverse nature, one of Nigeria’s greatest needs is to achieve socio political integration that will make the nation amendable to national, rather than regional or ethnic thinking, an absence of which will deprive the country the much sought after potency as instrument for social and political mobilization, undoubtedly have significant roles in the attainment of peace in Nigeria.
Fischer, (2002) says the main responsibility of the press is to provide comprehensive, analytical and factual news and opinion to the people on everyday issues and events of popular concern. To fulfill its duty and responsibility, the press must work according to the fundamental principles of professional ethics, as well as norms and values of journalism.
One of Nigeria greatest need is to promote socio-political integration that will make the nation amenable to national rather than ethnic and parochial thinking. This need to achieve national development which is marked by peace is couched in certain prevailing circumstances that characterize the nation of Nigeria.
It can be said that since the Biafra war more than thirty year ago, Nigeria has been spared with conflicts on the scale experienced by many other African countries, instead Nigeria experience a mass of relatively minor conflicts.
The communal conflicts in Nigeria which, since the 1980’s have become more frequent, more widespread and more violently destructive of lives and property are indications of failures to tackle and peacefully resolve the current manifestations of this age. Some of these conflicts emanate from documental policies which do not seem to carry the popular along but are tied to the interest of the elites, particularly the political class.
Hence, mass media is a collection of organs of communication and information dissemination that reaches out a large number of people. The information circulation is not only confined within members of the public but the media also serves to coordinate the information flow between government and the public and vice versa, in our own case, between leaders and the led and vice versa. More importantly, the media is also referred to, as “The Fourth Realm of the Estate”, i.e.
This project examines the prevailing realities of the Nigeria society with frequents crises and war. In addition, peace as national integration folds out to mean honest, dynamic responsible, collective and democratic leadership, equal access to natural resources, inter-ethnic, cultural appreciation and religious tolerance, equitable distribution of natural resources e. g. employment, education, political offices e. t. c. Maximization and utilization of Nigeria talents irrespective of ethnic origin to improve national consciousness, greater acceptance of the national government and finally a state of no war.
1.2. Statement of the Problem
Media have certain characteristics that make them powerful instrument of peace communication as they provide quick and easy access to large number of people located at different places. They highlight the problems and difficulties faced by the people affected by crisis.
Media mobilizes public opinion for relief and rehabilitation assistance. Access to information is crucial for the effective management of disasters. All those who are concerned with managing disasters necessarily have the need to access timely and accurate information.
Media informs the manifestations of conflict, taking place in the affected areas. Media reports and alerts both the people and the governments. Media must deal with crisis and its impacts on various ethno-crises.
This study is set out systematically to appraise the role of mass media in attainment of peaceful co-existence in society with case study of Punch Newspaper, Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) and Osun State Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC).
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The following are the main objectives of the study:
1. To ascertain whether mass media perform their civic responsibility
2. To examine the importance of media in attainment of peace in the society.
3. To examine whether Punch, NTA and OSBC helps to maintain peace in the society.
4. To find out whether Punch, NTA and OSBC helps to educate and sensitize people on peace attainment in the society.
5. To know the extent Punch, NTA and OSBC help to eradicate conflict in the society
1.4 Research Questions
The following are the research questions for the study:
1. How do mass media perform their civic responsibility?
2. What is the importance of media in attainment of peace in the society?
3. Does Punch, NTA and OSBC helps to maintain peace in the society?
4. Does Punch, NTA and OSBC helps to educate and sensitize people on peace attainment in the society?
5. To extent is Punch, NTA and OSBC help to eradicate conflict in the society
1.5 Scope of the Study
Although, the primary objective of this project is to appraise mass media as a tool for peaceful co-existence in society. The work will be narrowed in scope to Punch Newspaper Lagos, Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Osogbo and Osun State Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC) in Osun State.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The study which focuses on the appraisal of media as a tool for co-existence in the society is significance especially at this time when Nigeria is facing with some serious insecurity, ethnic and crises ranging from militancy in the Niger Delta to Boko -Haram in the Northern Nigeria.
However, this research will benefit the media houses on the strategies and techniques they have to adopt in solving crises and in the area of alerting the public when needed without creating element of fear.
Government at all level will also know how mass media can be use to gain public support and confident towards reducing and cubing crises, by exposing the dangers and effect of such crisis on the nation economic and development. How they can bring the public a rest of mind.
The citizens will through the media message aware of what is going on and know which region to travel to and which region is not advisable to go. While media efforts will make the public to be security conscious and vigilant at all time, this will also helpful to the security agents to apprehend the violators.
1.6 Definition of the Terms
Appraisal: To estimate the value or quality of media in maintenance of messages and information on peaceful co-existence in the society.
Media:Media are technologists that are intended to reach a large audience by mass communication in general. Media refers to various means of communication. For example, television, radio, and the newspaper are different types of media.
Peaceful: Characterized by peace, tranquil to be maintained by the media through their messages on crises and war in the society.
Co-existence:Exist in mutual tolerance of each other's ideologies between Punch, NTA and OSBC.
Society: Organized and interdependent community moistly comprise of human being living together with equal ideology in harmony for mutual benefits.
Punch:A print media (newspaper) organization as one of the intended area of study in this research work.
NTA: Nigerian Television Authority. An electronic media (television station) organization to be studied in this research work.
OSBC:Osun State Broadcasting Corporation. A television station situated at Oke-Baale in Osogbo Osun State.
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