This study explores how four Nigerian newspapers framed President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration and its human rights campaign. Using newspaper editorials published in The Punch, The Nation, Daily Trust, and Vanguard newspapers of December 2019 as the object of analysis, the paper draws on the methodological context of such framing to investigate how the selected newspapers framed the human rights situation in Nigeria. This study asserts that those newspapers’ editorials used varieties of framing methods, namely: “unrepentant dictator frame”, “resistance frame”, “indifference frame”, “warning frame”, and “sympathetic” frame to portray the government’s disposition to human rights issues. Furthermore, the paper reveals that the Nigerian media is partisan when it comes to the struggle against human rights while their positions on national issues like the fight against human rights abuse are subject to ethnic and political influences, as evident in the Daily Trust editorial. The study also revealed that editorials can be used as essential tools to curtail the excess of government, precisely, to fight against the abuse of human rights. Finally, the paper recommends that newspaper publishers should limit their editorial influences in day-to-day administration of news outlet to engender objectivity, news balance and accuracy in order not to exacerbate the socio-political situation in a multi-ethnic society such as Nigeria.
Abubakre, F. I. (2017). Press Framing of Anti-Corruption War on Buhari’s First Year Anniversary. Journal of Media Critiques, 3(12), 179–191. doi: 10.17349/jmc117410
Ani, M., & Anyadike, D. (2013). Concepts and Emerging Theories: An Analysis of Editorials in Nigerian Newspapers. New Media and Mass Communication, 14(1), 1–6.
Ayres, L., Kavanaugh, K., & Knafl, K. A. (2003). Within-Case and Across-Case Approaches to Qualitative Data Analysis. Qualitative Health Research, 13(6), 871–883. doi: 10.1177/1049732303013006008
Baran, S. J., & Davis, D. K. (2010). Mass Communication Theory: Foundations, Ferment and Future with InfoTrac College Edition. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Boukes, M., Boomgaarden, H. G., Moorman, M., & de Vreese, C. H. (2015). Political News with a Personal Touch: How Human Interest Framing Indirectly Affects Policy Attitudes. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 92(1), 121–141. doi: 10.1177/1077699014558554
Brown, N. J., & Udomisor, I. W. (2015). Evaluation of Political News Reportage in Nigeria’s Vanguard and The Guardian Newspapers. Advances in Journalism and Communication, 03(01), 10–18. doi: 10.4236/ajc.2015.31002
Buhari’s lawlessness: Our stand. (2019). Retrieved from Punch Newspapers website: https://punchng.com/buharis-lawlessness-our-stand/
Cacciatore, M. A., Scheufele, D. A., & Iyengar, S. (2016). The End of Framing as we Know it … and the Future of Media Effects. Mass Communication and Society, 19(1), 7–23. doi: 10.1080/15205436.2015.1068811
Chime-Nganya, C. R., Ezegwu, D. T., & Ezeji, A. (2017). Analysis of Nigerian Newspapers Framing of President Mohammadu Buhari’s Medical Leave to United Kingdom. Media and Communication Currents, 1(2), 39–56.
Ciboh, R. S. (2007). Mass Media in Nigeria: Perspectives on Growth and Development. Ibadan: Aboki Publishers.
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. (2018). Retrieved from United States Department of State. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor website: https://www.state.gov/reports/2018-country-reports-on-human-rights-practices/
Daramola, I. (2015). Mass Media and Social Change: A Discourse of the 2014 Ekiti State Governorship Election in Nigeria. Journal of Communication and Media Research, 7(2), 145–160.
DSS Re-Arrests, Detains Sowore. (2019). Retrieved from Channels Television website: https://www.channelstv.com/2019/12/06/breaking-dss-re-arrest-sowore-on-fresh-charges/
Duyile, D. (2005). Writing For the Media – A Manual for African Journalists. Lagos: Educational and Services Trust.
Ekeanyanwu, N. T. (2009). Analysis of the Content of Nigeria’s Newspaper Editorials. Oko Journal of Communication & Information Science, 1(2), 74–103.
Elyazale, N. (2014). Characteristics of Newspaper Editorials:‘Chouftchouf’in ‘Almassae’Moroccan Newspaper as a Case Study. New Media and Mass Communication, 32(1), 21–43.
Emery, E. (1962). A history of American press. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, Inc.
Entman, R. M. (1993). Framing: Toward Clarification of a Fractured Paradigm. Journal of Communication, 43(4), 51–58.
Ewang, A. (2019, November 26). Nigerians Should Say No to Social Media Bill. Retrieved from Human Rights Watch website: https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/11/26/nigerians-should-say-no-social-media-bill
Hassan, H. I. (2012). Giving attention to prominence, frequency and adequacy in the print media coverage of the Boko Haram Crisis. Journal of Religious Studies, 34(33), 1–20.
Ikenna, O. (2008). Print media coverage of crisis. Journal of Conflict Management, 11(10), 70–78.
Izadi, F., & Saghaye-Biria, H. (2007). A Discourse Analysis of Elite American Newspaper Editorials: The Case of Iran’s Nuclear Program. Journal of Communication Inquiry, 31(2), 140–165. doi: 10.1177/0196859906298073
Mboso, A. G., & Ezeh, N. C. (2019). Be Alert and Defend Yourselves: News Framing of Danjuma’s Comments on Herdsmen Attacks in Nigeria. Galactica Media: Journal of Media Studies, 1(3), 139–154. doi: 10.24411/2658-7734-2019-10028
Nigeria: Climate of permanent violence. (n.d.). Retrieved from Reporters Without Borders website: https://rsf.org/en/nigeria
Nigeria: Human rights agenda. (2019). Retrieved from Amnesty International website: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/document/?indexNumber=afr44%2f0431%2f2019&language=en
Nigerian publisher Agba Jalingo charged with treason. (2019, September 5). Retrieved from Committee to Protect Journalists website: https://cpj.org/2019/09/nigerian-publisher-agba-jalingo-charged-with-treas/
Njoku, N. A. (2010). Print media coverage of religious crisis in Nigeria. Journal of Religion and Conflict Studies, 9(7), 51–67.
Obiorah, C., & Onwughalu, V. C. (2018). Democracy and Human Rights Governance in Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari: A Journalistic Perspective. Presented at the The 31st National Conference Of The Nigerian Political Science Association (Npsa), Held At The International Conference Centre Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Ebonyi State. Nigeria.
Odoemelam, C. C., Ncube, J. B., & Okorom, E. (2014). Frames in News Discourse on Nelson Mandela’s illness and Hospitalisation: A Study of Nigerian and Zimbabwean Newspapers. New Media and Mass Communication, 29, 51–59. doi: 10.7176/NMMC.vol2951-59
Ogbondah, C. (2011). A critical analysis of state-press relations in Nigeria, 1999-2005. In L. Oso & U. Pate (Eds.), Mass Media and Society in Nigeria (pp. 25–48). Lagos: Malthouse Press Limited.
OHCHR | Resolutions on good governance and human rights. (2012). Retrieved January 15, 2021, from United Nations Commission For Human Rights website: https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Development/GoodGovernance/Pages/Resolutions.aspx
Okorie, N., & Oyedepo, T. (2011). Newspaper Reportage and its Effect towards Promoting Agricultural Development in Nigeria. Journal of Media and Communication Studies, 3(2), 27–32.
Olorede, J., Oyewole, A., & Azeez, L. (2013). Press reportage of president Yar’adua’s ill health: A study. New Media and Mass Communication, 9, 18–26.
Papacharissi, Z., & Olivera, M. (2008). News frames terrorism: A comparative analysis of frame employed in terrorism coverage in US and United Kingdom newspapers. Press/Politics. New York: Sage Publication.
Scheufele, D. A., & Tewksbury, D. (2007). Framing, agenda setting, and priming: The evolution of three media effects models. Journal of Communication, 57(1), 9–20. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-2466.2006.00326_5.x
That PUNCH editorial. (2019). Retrieved from Daily Trust website: https://dailytrust.com/that-punch-editorial
We Released Sowore, Dasuki On Compassionate Grounds, Says Malami. (2019). Retrieved from Channels Television website: https://www.channelstv.com/2019/12/27/we-released-sowore-dasuki-on-compassionate-grounds-says-malami/
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.