With controversies raging in Nigeria over what should be reported of the insurgency in the North East by the media, a survey seeking public position on this has come with a resounding public endorsement for journalists to professionally report all sides to the conflict. A single item survey asked: “How beneficial to Nigeria is it for the mass media to professionally report all sides (military, insurgents and civilian victims) to the conflict in the North East?”
The online survey polled 2,178 participants across Nigeria within a period of 24 hours. Of this number, 1,677 respondents making up 77% affirmed that it was ‘very beneficial’ for the mass media to professionally report all sides to the conflict in the North East. Similarly, another 196 respondents representing 9% agreed that it was ‘beneficial’ for the mass media to professionally report all sides to the conflict. On the contrary, 174 respondents representing 8% dismiss the proposition as ‘not beneficial.’
The remaining 108 respondents representing 5% state that they do not know whether the proposition was beneficial to Nigeria or not. Over the years, the Military and officials of government have been on short fuse over reports of the crisis in the North East that are not officially authorized information. Media reports drawing from the activities of the insurgents, particularly on occasions when military facilities have been over-run have drawn the ire of the Military. Recently, the Maiduguri and Abuja offices of Daily Trust newspaper were invaded by soldiers this January. Earlier in 2018, following independent reports on steady cases of extra-judicial killings by the Military in Nigeria by the Amnesty International attracted direct official offensive against the agency.
By Ahmad Salkida