ABSTRACT – This study investigated how Nigerian newspapers contributed to sensitizing and sustaining public attention on the issue of the schoolgirls that were abducted by the Boko Haram group in Chibok, northeastern Nigeria. The study analyzed the direction/slant, frequency, and prominence of news stories, feature articles, editorials, special reports, interpretative articles, and news analysis on the abduction as published in three major Nigerian newspapers. Using the content analytical technique, the study found that there was no day in the period under investigation that the issue of the abducted Chibok girls did not get attention in the press. The study also found that the press discharged its corporate social responsibility by setting and sustaining public consciousness on the injustice and inhumanity of the abduction. Furthermore, a connection was established between the unrelenting crusade mounted by non-governmental organizations, especially the #BringBackOurGirls movement, for the release of the abducted girls, sustained public interest provided by the Press, and the eventual government action that culminated in the release of 164 out of the 276 girls initially abducted. This study, therefore, recommends continued publicity by the media in its role as a social crusader to ensure that the remaining Chibok and other abductees are rescued from their Boko Haram abductors.
RESUMO – Este estudo investigou como os jornais nigerianos contribuíram para sensibilizar e manter a atenção do público sobre a questão das estudantes que foram sequestradas pelo grupo Boko Haram em Chibok, no nordeste da Nigéria. O estudo analisou o direcionamento/ponto de vista, a frequência e proeminência das notícias, artigos de destaque, editoriais, reportagens especiais, artigos interpretativos e análises de notícias sobre o sequestro nas publicações dos três principais jornais nigerianos. Usando técnica analítica de conteúdo, o estudo identificou que, no período investigado, não houve um dia em que a pauta do sequestro não tenha recebido atenção da imprensa. O estudo descobriu também que a imprensa cumpriu sua responsabilidade social corporativa ao estabelecer e manter a consciência pública sobre a injustiça e desumanidade do sequestro. Além disso, uma conexão foi estabelecida entre a cruzada incessante montada por organizações não governamentais, especialmente o movimento #BringBackOurGirls, pela libertação das meninas, e sustentou o interesse público proporcionado pela imprensa e a eventual ação governamental que culminou com a libertação de 164 das 276 garotas inicialmente sequestradas. Portanto, este estudo recomenda a continuidade da visibilidade proporcionada pela mídia no seu papel de cruzada social para assegurar que Chiboks e outros raptados sejam resgatados dos seus sequestradores do Boko Haram.
RESUMEN – En este estudio se investiga cómo los periódicos nigerianos contribuyeron a sensibilizar y mantener la atención pública sobre la cuestión de las niñas secuestradas por el grupo Boko Haram en Chibok, al noreste de Nigeria. El estudio analizó la dirección/orientación, frecuencia y prominencia de las noticias, artículos de fondo, editoriales, informes especiales, artículos interpretativos y análisis periodísticos sobre el secuestro, publicados en tres importantes periódicos nigerianos. Mediante el uso de la técnica del análisis de contenido, el estudio llegó a la conclusión de que no había ningún día en el período investigado en que el asunto de las niñas Chibok secuestradas no recibiera atención en la prensa. También se encontró que la prensa cumplió con su responsabilidad social corporativa al establecer y mantener la conciencia pública sobre la injusticia y la falta de humanidad del secuestro. Además, se estableció una conexión entre la implacable cruzada montada por organizaciones no gubernamentales, especialmente el movimiento #BringBackOurGirls, por la liberación de las niñas secuestradas, el interés público sostenido proporcionado por la prensa, y la eventual acción gubernamental que culminó en la liberación de 164 de las 276 niñas inicialmente secuestradas. Por lo tanto, en este estudio se recomienda que los medios de comunicación continúen otorgando publicidad, en su rol público de luchadores sociales, para garantizar que los restantes Chibok y otros secuestrados sean rescatados de sus secuestradores de Boko Haram.
Abubakar, A. T. (2020). News values and the ethical dilemmas of covering violent extremism. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, 97(1), 278–298. DOI:10.1177/1077699019847258
Amnesty International. (2015). ‘Our job is to shoot, slaughter and kill’ Boko Haram’s reign of terror in north-east Nigeria. London: Amnesty International. Retrieved from www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/AFR4413602015ENGLISH.PDF
Bagaji, A. S. Y., Etila, M. S., Ogbadu, E. E., & Sule, J. G. (2012). Boko Haram and the recurring bomb attacks in Nigeria: Attempt to impose religious ideology through terrorism? Cross-cultural Communication, 8(1), 33–41. DOI: 10.3968/j.ccc.1923670020120801.1370
Baresch, B., Hsu, S. H., & Reese, S. (2012). The power of framing: New challenges for researching the structure of meaning in news. In S. Allan (Ed.), The Routledge companion to news and journalism (pp.637–647). London, Routledge.
BBC News. (2017, May 08). Nigeria Chibok abductions: What we know. Retrieved from www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-32299943
BBC News. (2014, April 21). Chibok Abductions in Nigeria: ‘More than 230 seized’. Retrieved from www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-27101714.
Beckett, C. (2016). Fanning the flames: Reporting terror in a networked world. Columbia Journalism School: Tow Center for Digital Journalism.
Burke, J. (2015, August 19). ‘There is no silver bullet’: Isis, al-Qaida and the myths of terrorism. The Guardian. Retrieved from www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/19/isis-al-qaida-myths-terrorismwar-mistakes-9-11
Busari, S. (2018, April 13). UNICEF: Boko Haram has kidnapped more than 1000 children in Nigeria. CNN. Retrieved from www.edition.cnn.com/2018/04/13/africa/boko-haram-children-abduction-intl/index.html
Campbell, J., & Harwood, A. (2018, August 20). Boko Haram’s deadly impact. Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved from www.cfr.org/article/boko-harams-deadly-impact
Chang, T. K., Shoemaker, P.J., & Brendlinger, N. (1987). Determinants of international news coverage in the U.S. media. Communication Research, 14(4), 396–414. DOI: 10.1177/009365087014004002
Chiluwa, I., & Ifukor, P. (2015). “War against our children”: Stance and evaluation in #BringBackOurGirls campaign discourse on Twitter and Facebook. Discourse & Society, 26(3), 267–296. DOI: 10.1177/0957926514564735
Cissel, M. (2012). Media framing: A comparative content analysis on mainstream and alternative coverage of Occupy Wall Street. The Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications, 3(1), 67–77. Retrieved from https://vulms.vu.edu.pk/Courses/MCM511/Downloads/08CisselEJSpring12.pdf
Cohen-Almagor, R. (2006). The scope of tolerance: Studies on the costs of free expression and freedom of the press. Abingdon, Oxon, Routledge.
Dahlgren, P. (2019). Foreword. In R. la Brosse & K. Holt (Eds.), Media and journalism in an age of terrorism (pp. vii-ix). Newcastle upon Tyne, Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Dearden, L. (2014, May 08). Bring Back Our Girls: Michelle Obama and Malala Yousafzai support campaign for return of kidnapped Nigeria schoolgirls. Independent. Retrieved from www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/nigeria-kidnapped-schoolgirls-michelle-obamajoins-campaign-9336983.html
Dearing, J. W., & Rogers, E. M. (1996). Agenda-setting. California, SAGE Publications. DOI: 10.4135/9781452243283
DeFleur, M. L., Dennis, E. E., & Hanus, M. S. (1985). Understanding mass communication. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.
Diep, F. (2019, July 10). The true story of the Nigerian schoolgirls who survived Boko Haram. Pacific Standard. Retrieved from www.psmag.com/ideas/the-true-story-of-the-nigerian-schoolgirls-who-survivedboko-haram
Dorell, O. (2014, April 21). Terrorists kidnap more than 200 Nigerian girls. USA Today. Retrieved from www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/04/21/parents-234-girls-kidnapped-from-nigeriaschool/7958307/
Doward, J. (2015, August 01). Media coverage of terrorism ‘leads to further violence’. The Guardian. Retrieved from www.theguardian.com/media/2015/aug/01/media-coverage-terrorism-further-violence
Egbo, R. (n.d.). Memorializing the victims of terrorism. Department of Justice, Canada. Retrieved from www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/cjjp/victim/rr09_6/rr09_6.pdf
Falkheimer, J., & Olsson, E.-K. (2014). Depoliticizing terror: The news framing of the terrorist attacks in Norway, 22 July 2011. Media, War & Conflict, 8(1), 70–85. DOI:10.1177/1750635214531109
Farwell, J. P. (2014). The media strategy of ISIS. Survival, 56(6), 49–55. DOI: 10.1080/00396338.2014.985436
Farnen, R. F. (2014). Media and terrorism. In C. De Landtsheer, R. F. Farnen, D. B. German, H. Dekker, H. Sünker, Y. Song & H. Miao (Eds.), E-political socialization, the press and politics: The media and government in the USA, Europe and China (pp.251–302). Frankfurt am Main, PL Academic Research. DOI: 10.3726/978-3-653-01971-1
Golubski, C. (2019, August 06). Beneath the tamarind tree: Nigeria and the resilience of the Chibok girls. Brookings. Retrieved from www.brookings.edu/blog/africa-in-focus/2019/08/06/beneath-thetamarind-tree-nigeria-and-the-resilience-of-the-chibok-girls
Greene, A. (2017). Defining terrorism: One size fits all? International and Comparative Law Quarterly, 66(2), 411–440. DOI: 10.1017/s0020589317000070
Hamish, M., & Omisore, B. (2014, May 09). Nigeria had 4-hour warning on school raid, Amnesty International says. ABC News. Retrieved from www.abcnews.go.com/International/nigeria-hour-warning-schoolraid-amnesty-international/story?id=23652165
Hill, J. (2014). Boko Haram, the Chibok abductions and Nigeria’s counterterrorism strategy. CTC Sentinel, 7(7), 15–17. Retrieved from https://ctc.usma.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/CTCSentinel-Vol7Iss75.pdf
Institute for Economics and Peace. (2016). Global terrorism index 2016: Measuring and understanding the impact of terrorism. Retrieved from www.economicsandpeace.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Global-Terrorism-Index-2016.2.pdf
Institute for Economics and Peace. (2019). Global terrorism index 2019: Measuring the impact of terrorism. Retrieved from www.economicsandpeace.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/GTI-2019web.pdf
International Crisis Group. (2018, April 12). Preventing Boko Haram abductions of school children in Nigeria. Briefing No. 137. Retrieved from www.crisisgroup.org/africa/west-africa/nigeria/b137-preventingboko-haram-abductions-schoolchildren-nigeria
Iqbal, M. Z. (2015). The media – terrorism symbiosis: A case study of Mumbai attacks, 2008. Asian Journal of Communication, 25(2), 197–212. DOI: 10.1080/01292986.2014.944924
Iyengar, S., & Kinder, D. R. (1987). News that matters: Television and American opinion. Chicago, University of Chicago Press.
Jerit, J., & Barabas, J. (2012). Partisan perceptual bias and the information environment. Journal of Politics, 74(3), 672–84. DOI: 10.1017/s0022381612000187
Karmon, E. (2014). Boko Haram’s international reach. Perspectives on Terrorism, 8(1), 74-83. Retrieved from https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/binaries/content/assets/customsites/perspectives-on-terrorism/2014/issue-1/boko-haram%E2%80%99sinternational-reach--ely-karmon.pdf
Lazreg, M. (2009). Consequences of political liberalization and sociocultural mobilization for women in Algeria, Egypt and Jordan. In A. M. Goetz (Ed.), Governing women: women’s political effectiveness in contexts of democratization and governance reform (pp. 45-62). New York, Routledge/UNRISD.
Lippmann, W. (2004). Public Opinion. New York, Dover Publications, Inc.
Loimeier, R. (2012). Boko Haram: The development of a militant religious movement in Nigeria. Africa Spectrum, 47(2–3), 137–155. Retrieved from www.jstor.org/stable/23350455
Maclean, R. (2014, April 17). Nigerian schoolgirls still missing after military ‘fabricated’ rescue. The Times. Retrieved from www.thetimes.co.uk/article/nigerian-schoolgirls-still-missing-after-militaryfabricated-rescue-pmbl90ls2hj
Maiangwa, B., & Uzodike, U. O. (2012). The changing dynamics of Boko Haram Terrorism. Al Jazeera Centre for Studies Report. Retrieved from https://studies.aljazeera.net/sites/default/files/articles/reports/documents/20127316843815734The%20Changing%20Dynamics%20of%20Boko%20Haram%20Terrorism.pdf
Martinez, L. (2014, May 13). The United States sending manned flights over Nigeria to look for girls. ABC News. Retrieved from www.abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2014/05/us-flying-surveillanceaircraft-over-nigeria-in-search-of-kidnapped-girls
Matfess, H. (2017). Women and the war on Boko Haram: Wives, weapons, witnesses. London, Zed Books Ltd.
Matusitz, J. (2013). Terrorism and communication: A critical introduction. Los Angeles, Sage Publications.
McBrien, L. J. (2005). Educational needs and barriers for refugee students in the United States, A review of the literature. Review of Educational Research, 75(3), 329–336. DOI: 10.3102/00346543075003329
McCombs, M. E., & Shaw, D. (1991). The agenda-setting function of mass media. In D.L. Protess & M.E. McCombs (Eds.), Communication textbook series. Agenda setting: Readings on media, public opinion, and policymaking (pp.17–26). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
McQuail, D. (2010). Mass communication theory (6th ed.). USA: Sage.
Minnella, C. M. (2019). Counter-terrorism resolutions and listing of terrorists and their organizations by the United Nations. In E. Shor & S. Hoadley (Eds.), International human rights and counterterrorism (pp.31–53). Gateway East, Singapore, Springer Nature. DOI: 10.1007/978-981-10-3894-5_4-1
Mogensen, K. (2008). Television journalism during terror attacks. Media, War & Conflict, 1(1), 31–49. DOI:10.1177/1750635207087624.
Muobike, O. I. (2017). The Guardian and the Nation newspapers framing of the abduction of Chibok girls. International Journal of Communication. Retrieved from www.oer.unn.edu.ng/read/theguardian-and-the-nation-newspapers-framing-of-the-abduction-ofchibok-girls-vol-22-no-1-2017?rdr=1
Nacos, B. L. (2007). Mass-mediated terrorism: The central role of the media in terrorism and counterterrorism. Lanham, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
Nevalsky, E. C. (2015). Developing terrorism coverage: variances in news framing of the January 2015 attacks in Paris and Borno. Critical Studies on Terrorism, 8(3), 466–477. DOI: 10.1080/17539153.2015.1096656
Ngwu, C. C., Ekwe, O. C., & Chiaha, C. (2015). The Nigerian newspapers framing of the Chibok school girls abduction: A study of The Guardian, Daily Sun, The Trust and Leadership Newspapers.
Global Journal of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, 3(8), 78–93. Retrieved from www.eajournals.org/journals/global-journal-of-artshumanities-and-social-sciences-gjahss/vol-3issue-8august-2015/
Nwozor, A. (2016). Democracy and terrorism: The Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria. In F. Omotoso & M. Kehinde (Eds.), Democratic governance and political participation in Nigeria, 1999–2014 (pp.313–340). Denver, CO, Spears Media Press.
Nwozor, A., Okolie, C., Okidu, O., & Oshewolo, S. (2020). The looming dangers of explosion in community transmissions of COVID-19 in Nigeria. Annals of Global Health, 86(1), 1–5. DOI: 10.5334/aogh.2990
O’Loughlin, B. (2019). Terrorism Coverage. In T. P. Vos & F. Hanusch (Eds.), The international encyclopedia of journalism studies (pp.1–7). Hoboken, NJ, John Wiley & Sons. DOI: 10.1002/9781118841570.iejs0220
Olson, C. C. (2016). #BringBackOurGirls: digital communities supporting real-world change and influencing mainstream media agendas. Feminist Media Studies, 16(5), 772–787. DOI: 10.1080/14680777.2016.1154887
Onuoha, F. C. (2012). The audacity of the Boko Haram: Background, analysis and emerging trend. Security Journal, 25(2), 134–151. DOI: 10.1057/sj.2011.15
Pantti, M. (2019). Crisis and disaster coverage. In Tim P. Vos & Folker Hanusch (Eds.), The international encyclopedia of journalism studies (pp.1–8). Hoboken, NJ, John Wiley & Sons. DOI: 10.1002/9781118841570.iejs0202
Papacharissi, Z., & de Fatima Oliveira, M. (2008). News frames terrorism: a comparative analysis of frames employed in terrorism coverage in U.S. and U.K. newspapers. The International Journal of Press/Politics, 13(1), 52–74. DOI: 10.1177/1940161207312676
Perkins, A. (2014, April 23). 200 girls are missing in Nigeria – so why doesn’t anybody care? The Guardian. Retrieved from www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/23/200-girls-missingnigeria-care-sewol-tragedy
Powell, K. A. (2011). Framing Islam: An analysis of U.S. media coverage of terrorism since 9/11. Communication Studies, 62(1), 90–112. DOI: 10.1080/10510974.2011.533599
Puddephatt, A. (2006). Voices of war: conflict and the role of the media. International Media Support. Retrieved from www.mediasupport.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/ims-voices-of-war-2006.pdf
Rivera, J. D. (2016, May 24). The symbiotic relationship between western media and terrorism. Carnegie Council. Retrieved from www.carnegiecouncil.org/publications/ethics_online/0117
Robinson, J. P., & Tuchman, G. (1981). Making news: A study in the construction of reality. Social Forces, 59(4), 1341–1342. DOI: 10.2307/2578016
Rohner, D., & Frey, B. S. (2007). Blood and ink! The common-interestgame between terrorists and the media. Public Choice, 133 (1–2), 129–145. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11127-007-9182-9
Schmid, A. P. (2012). The revised academic consensus definition of terrorism. Perspectives on Terrorism, 6(2), 158-159. Retrieved from www.terrorismanalysts.com/pt/index.php/pot/issue/view/34
Schmid, A. P., & Jongman, A. J. (1988). Political terrorism: A new guide to actors, authors, concepts, data bases, theories, and literature. New Brunswick, Transaction Books.
Seib, P., & Janbek, D. M. (2011). Global terrorism and new media: the post-Al-Qaeda generation. New York, Routledge.
Sesay, I. (2019). Beneath the Tamarind tree: A story of courage, family, and the lost schoolgirls of Boko Haram. Sydney, HarperCollins Publishers.
Shearlaw, M. (2015, April 14). Did the #bringbackourgirls campaign make a difference in Nigeria? The Guardian. Retrieved from www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/14/nigeria-bringbackourgirlscampaign-one-year-on
Shoshani, A., & Slone, M. (2008). The drama of media coverage of terrorism: Emotional and attitudinal impact on the audience. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 31(7), 627–640. DOI: 10.1080/10576100802144064
Smith, D., & Sherwood, H. (2014, May 15). Military operation launched to locate kidnapped Nigerian girls. The Guardian. Retrieved from www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/14/nigeria-launchesmilitary-operation-to-find-kidnapped-girls
Smith, T. J. E. (2015, January 23). Islamic state and social media: ethical challenges and power relations. Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA). Retrieved from www.idsa.in/idsacomments/IslamicStateandSocialMedia_tjesmith_230115
Stivers, R. (2012). The media creates us in its image. Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, 32(3), 203–212. DOI: 10.1177/0270467612458065
UNHCR. (2018). UNHCR and partners seek US$157 million to aid Boko Haram displaced. Retrieved from www.unhcr.org/5a7184f34.html
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373 adopted by the Security Council at its 4385th meeting, S/RES/1373 (2001), (28 September 2001). Retrieved from https://www.un.org/ruleoflaw/files/UN%20SC%20Res%201373%20(2001)%20E.pdf
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 adopted by the Security Council at its 4956th meeting, S/RES/1540 (2004), (28 April 2004). Retrieved from https://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/RES/1540%282004%29
United Nations Security Council Resolution 2178 adopted by the Security Council at its 7272nd meeting, S/RES/2178 (2014), (24 September 2014). Retrieved from https://www.un.org/sc/ctc/wpcontent/uploads/2015/06/SCR-2178_2014_EN.pdf
United Nations Security Council Resolution 2482 adopted by the Security Council at its 8582nd meeting, S/RES/2482 (2019), (19 July 2019). Retrieved from https://undocs.org/S/RES/2482(2019)
Vultee, F. (2010). Securitization. Journalism Practice, 4(1), 33–47. DOI: 10.1080/17512780903172049
Waldek, L., & Jayasekara, S. (2011). Boko Haram: The evolution of Islamist extremism in Nigeria. Journal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism, 6(2), 168–178. DOI: 10.1080/18335330.2011.605217
Walker, A. (2012). What is Boko Haram? United States Institute of Peace Special Report 308. United States Institute of Peace. Retrieved from www.usip.org/sites/default/files/resources/SR308.pdf
Winsor, M. (2018, April 14). Boko Haram has abducted over 1,000 children, killed more than 2,000 teachers. ABC News. Retrieved from www.abcnews.go.com/International/boko-haram-abducted-1000-children-killed-2000-teachers/story?id=54442518
Copyright for articles published in this journal is retained by the authors, with first publication rights granted to the journal. By virtue of their appearance in this open access journal, articles are free to use, with proper attribution, in educational and other non-commercial settings.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.