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The issue of terrorism has attracted global attention. In Nigeria in particular, the terrorist abduction of over 276 Chibok school girls attracted the highest global attention. Hence, this study was set to examine newspaper coverage of the abducted Chibok school girls. It analyzed the content of four Nigerian newspapers: The Guardian, Daily Sun, Daily Trust and Leadership newspapers in their coverage of abducted Chibok school girls in Borno state from April 2014 to September 2014. The researcher systematically selected a sample size of 224 editions of the four newspapers for six months to generate data for the study. 79 editions out of the sample do not have stories on Chibok girls while 145 editions of the total sample yielded 374 stories on Chibok girls which were analyzed. The major findings are that Nigerian newspapers down played the coverage of issues about Chibok girl’s abduction. The Nigerian newspaper coverage of the Chibok girl’s abduction suffered lack of in-depth and interpretative analysis. The findings showed that the volume of coverage was poor. The published materials were not given prominence by virtue of their placement or position in the newspapers as over 78.6% of them were placed in the inside pages of the newspaper. It was concluded that there was much of quantitative coverage than qualitative coverage because of the high disparity between the numbers of straight news items to interpretative news items. It was recommended that newspaper coverage of terrorism like Chibok girl’s abduction should be investigative and interpretative journalism-driven instead of mere reportage of straight news stories which doesn’t add much in the fight against terrorism and general information and education of the public.


Title page
Table of contents
List of tables

1.1  Background to the Study
1.2  Statement of Problem
1.3  Objectives of the Study
1.4  Research Questions
1.5  Significance of the Study
1.6  Scope of the Study
1.7  Definition of Terms

2.1  Focus of Review
2.2 Terrorism
2.3 Terrorism and the Mass Media
2.4 The symbiosis between Terrorism and Mass Media
2.5 Boko Haram and Terrorism in Nigeria
2.6 Boko Haram Attacks on Educational Institutions in Nigeria
2.7 Mass Media and Strategic Communication against Terrorism
2.8 Theoretical Framework

3.1  Research Design
3.2  Population of the Study
3.3  Sample Size
3.4  Sampling Technique
3.5  Instruments for Data Collection
3.6  Unit of Analysis
3.7  Validity of the Instrument
3.8  Reliability of the Instrument
3.9  Limitations of the Methodology

4.1  Description of the sample
4.2  Data Presentation and Analysis
4.3  Discussion of Findings

5.1  Summary and Findings
5.2  Conclusion
5.3  Recommendation



1.1 Background to the Study
Different parts of the world are today enmeshed in one form of violent crime or the other. These crimes take one or combine the following forms namely armed robbery, drug trafficking, kidnapping/abductions, assassinations, bank raiding, militancy and terrorism. However, among these violent crimes, terrorism is that which commonly employ the use of others to attain its objectives. Terrorism as a result generates more concern among the common people who are always at the receiving end of the deadly attacks perpetuated by the terrorist. It also generates so much concern because it is one crime that even the most powerful country/countries in the world are still struggling to contain in their own territories.

Eze, (2011) concurred that the greatest danger facing the world today is terrorism. Virtually no nation is safe from terrorist activities. Terrorism has come to represent the only option for individuals or groups to vent their anger or seek recognition. In fact, terrorism has been dubbed the “poor man’s warfare”, and often times, terrorism often lack a “return address”.

According to Dershowhz (2002), terrorism is often rationalized as a valid response to its “root causes” – mainly repression and desperation. Global terrorism and precisely Nigerian terrorism is thus a phenomenon largely of our own making. In Nigeria, acts of terrorism have been on the increase thereby prompting the national assembly to pass the Anti-Terrorism Bill in 2011. The Independence Day bombing of 2010, the Police headquarter suicide bombing in Abuja, the United Nations building suicide bombing… and lately, the monumental abduction of Chibok school girls marked the zenith of these acts of terrorism in Nigeria.
Evidently, terrorism as a concept seems to provide a brief prelude to this background because of the fact that the mainstay of this study which is the abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls is essentially a fallout of the about five years of Boko Haram’s terrorism onslaught on the Nigerian state. As a common phenomenon today across different part of the world in general, and Nigeria in particular, terrorism as perpetuated especially in the North eastern part of Nigeria since 2009 by the dreaded Islamic militant group originally known as Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awatiWal-Jihad (People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad dubbed Boko Haram by natives), came to a climax on the fateful midnight hours of April 14th, 2014 when over 276 female students of Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, were abducted by Boko Haram gunmen and taken to an unknown destination. Chibok, a local government area headquarters, is situated west of the dreaded Sambisa forest and 114 kilometres south of Maidugiri, the Bornu State capital.(Daily Sun, April 19, 2014, p.11).

Since 2010, Boko Haram has targeted schools, killing hundreds of students. They had always insisted that such attacks would continue as long as the Nigerian government continued to interfere with traditional Islamic education. Some thousands of students are already out of school as a result of the activities of the Boko Haram. Notable among these deadly school attacks was the July 2013 Yobe School shooting, Gujba college massacre and the climax which is the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapping.

Apparently, this particular act of terror – the abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls by the Boko Haram insurgence, happened less than 24 hours after the gory Nyanya bomb explosion for which the group also claimed responsibility. The proximity in timing between the Nyanya bomb explosion which claimed dozens of innocent lives and the abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls like never before drew national and global attention to the fact that the Boko Haram Islamic militancy is another Al-Qaeda in Africa.

It is however important to note that within 48 hours of the abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls, both local and international media started reporting the incident. Virtually, major Nigerian newspapers and electronic media outfits started churning out the news of the abducted schoolgirls. International media organizations like CNN, BBC, CCTV, AL JAZEERA, and other global news agencies like Reuters, AFP, AP etc were all with one news framing of the abduction of the Chibok school girls or the other.

The various reports at the onset were that there were 530 students registered from multiple villages for the senior school certificate examinations in the school. The children were said to be between the ages of 16 to 18. Initial reports said that 85 students were kidnapped in the attack. By 19-20th of April, the military released a statement that said more 100 of the 129 abducted girls had been released. However, the statement was retracted, and on 21 April, parents and the school authority said 234 girls were missing and that a number of the students escaped the kidnappers in two groups. The Police later confirmed that 276 children were taken in the attack of which 53 had escaped on May 2nd 2014.

On May 4, 2014 President Goodluck Jonathan spoke publicly about the kidnapping for the first time, saying that the government is doing everything it could to find the missing girls. At the same time, he blamed parents for not supplying enough information about their missing children to the police.

On May 5, 2014 it was widely reported in local and international media, a video in which Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of the Chibok schoolgirls. Shekau claimed that “Allah instructed me to sell them… I will carry out his.....

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