Implications of the News Framing of Farmers-Herdsmen Conflict on Citizen’s reactions

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Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies, University of Ilorin, Nigeria


This study explores how the Nigerian news media frame the Fulani herdsmen-farmers conflicts, which have become a major source of communal violence, looking at the way the media presents its causes and solutions. It undertakes a descriptive comparative content analysis of media coverage of the conflicts, as reported by two prominent national newspapers - Daily Trust and Vanguard, both of which, are influential, and they enjoy wide readership among the populace in the Northern and Southern geopolitical regions of Nigeria respectively. Findings indicated that the communal conflicts were framed most frequently in terms of ‘Responsibility frame’. In this regard, the dominant theme pushed by the Vanguard newspaper mostly suggested that, the Fulani herdsmen were responsible for the problem, and the reportage tended to portray that, some level of government was culpable for the issue. On the part of the Daily Trust newspaper, the dominant theme pushed by the medium, was that of confidence in the ability of the Government to alleviate the herdsmen-farmers/host communities’ conflicts, while simultaneously proffering solutions to the issue. Furthermore, the findings from this study have important implications for understanding current and future trends of polarization in Nigeria. It recommends that, though, the challenge of communal violence is not the making of the media, it must, at all times, be a bastion of independent and balanced positions on national issues in order to promote peace and good governance.


Journalism, Political communication


Herdsmen,, Farmers, News Frames,, Communal conflicts, Media


Abubakre, F.I. (2016) Implications of the News Framing of Farmers-Herdsmen Conflict on Citizen’s reactions, Vol. 2 (1) 75-99