Communication, Cultural, Journalism and media studies
The Impact of Peace Journalism Training on Journalists’ Reportage of the 2015 Elections in Nigeria: An Action Research Case Study
During the run-up to the 2015 general elections in nigeria, there was widespread trepidation within and outside the nation that the increasing cases of electoral violence and political intimidation ravaging the country would snowball into full-blown violence, and possibly plunge it into civil war. this fear was largely instigated by the 2011 election, which was marred by pre- and post-election violence. Human rights Watch (2011) estimated that the violence led to over 800 deaths in three days of rioting which engulfed parts of northern nigeria. since the First republic elections in the early 1960s, the nigerian media have been very involved in the political process. the diverse nature of the media makes its ideological inclination easy to decipher, because of reportage that is often tilted along ethnic and religious lines. using data obtained through participatory action research involving 40 purposively selected participant journalists, this article proposes an alternative method of news reportage using the peace-journalism model. developed by lynch and mcGoldrick (2005), the model encourages journalists to report social issues in ways that create opportunities for society to consider and value non-violent responses to conflict, using insights from conflict analysis and transformation to update concepts of balance, fairness and accuracy in reporting. it also provides a new route map which traces the connections between journalists, their sources, the stories they cover and the consequences of their reportage.