Chapter 1 Introduction

1.1 Research background

The primary role of print media in any society is to inform, educate, and entertain, and without print media it is so important that society can hardly thrive meaningfully. Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States of America (USA), recognized this fact and said: Insecurity, especially terrorism in the north and kidnappings in the south, have posed a major threat to Nigeria’s national security in recent years (Ogbeche, 2012). Therefore, all hands must be on deck to tackle this challenge.

This is where the role of print media comes into play. The print media, through its influence on society, determines the dominant values, perceptions and attitudes of society. The importance of print media in addressing national security in a democratic environment cannot be overemphasized, as it forms a bridge between people and their social activities (Nwagboso, 2012). ). For activities to be noticed, they must be covered by the media. Therefore, the print media must make national security part of its main agenda in order to have a positive impact. Article 22 of the amended 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provides powers to oversee government and uphold the fundamental aims and guiding principles of national policy, as enshrined in Chapter II of the Constitution. was given to the media (Nwagboso, 2012). To further emphasize the role of print media in combating anxiety in all societies, Pulitzer (2014) states: Don’t live in secret. If we take all this publicly, explain it, attack it, ridicule it in the press, public opinion will sooner or later wipe them out. ”

Consistent with the above assertions, print media must find their own ways of dealing with uncertainty. It should also provide a platform for religious leaders to preach and warn against all forms of criminal activity, especially terrorism. This not only draws attention to security issues, but also raises public awareness of security and crime issues (Ogbeche, 2012). When the word “unrest” comes to mind when referring to today’s Nigeria, Boko Haram, kidnappings, ethnic and religious crises are the first to come to mind, and until recently, the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra. Agitation for (IPOB) began to rear its ugly head again. These terms are used to highlight types of anxiety that are endemic to Nigeria among other countries of the world (Salayu, 2010). The instability situation in Nigeria is complex, but the media can raise public awareness of the actions that create anxiety within the country by consistently and meaningfully reporting them in a responsible manner.

Frequent discussions of precarious issues not only draw attention to the need to address such challenges, but also raise awareness among citizens and security forces about the need to combat insecurity. The print media is one of the most important institutions of socialization and, in fact, the most important cultural industry responsible for the dissemination of ideas and the formation of opinions.

Print media should also allocate specific airtime and space to reporting and discussing terrorism, kidnappings, and other forms of crime that can create unrest. This provides an opportunity to highlight and reveal the negative impact such crimes have on society. Print media should also be used to expose crime and raise awareness of criminal behavior among citizens (Igbuzor, 2011). By involving citizens in the dissemination of information, the print media has created what can be called “citizen journalism.” The importance of citizen journalism in fighting crime was evidenced by the murder of four of her students at Port He Harcourt College (UNIPORT) in her ALUU community in Rivers State. These videos and snapshots were uploaded to the internet via social media and YouTube. This caused a public outcry. Citizen journalism also emerged more recently with the 2015 presidential election, when nearly every Nigerian with a mobile phone became a field reporter, sending articles, photos, political party results and figures online to inform citizens and Citizens may follow up on avoided post-election violence. It could be the result of voter fraud.

A peaceful atmosphere neither attracts foreign investors nor encourages local investors to invest (Nwagboso, 2012). Without investment there is no growth, without growth there is no development. Expatriates fearing kidnapping for ransom or bombing may be hesitant to invest in a threatened environment (Nwagboso, 2012). Therefore, to achieve growth and development, all forms of insecurity must be defeated and subdued completely and the print media has a lot to do in our attaining a peaceful and business friendly environment that will attract investors to the country. Despite the very important role placed on the mass media by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the print media is yet to rise to be effectively mobilized as a tool for combating insecurity in the country (Kufour, 2012). This is because the print media itself is faced with a lot of challenges, ranging from poor welfare package for media practitioners, lack of continuous and constant training and retraining exercises for media workers, the tendency of journalists to be self-censored for fear of victimization by their employers to reluctance of citizens to give information for fear of being attacked (Kufour, 2012).

For the print media to effectively play its role in tackling insecurity in the nation there must be improved welfare package for journalists, adequate training for journalists, and insurance cover for them to motivate to engage in dare-devil conflict reporting in the interest of the public (Ani, 2009). Also, the security agents must work closely with the print media players for effective crime fighting. Regular workshops, symposiums and seminars on quality crime reporting keep journalists up to date on contemporary trends in using the print media to counter insurgency and other forms of criminal activity


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