News Frame Patterns: An Evaluation of Newspaper Coverage of Boko Haram Attacks in Nigeria

Comfort E. Obaje


This study investigates the newspaper coverage of Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria, with a view to identifying the patterns of frames in the stories published. A total of 120 editions of four selected newspapers were analyzed. Findings show that The Nation newspaper published more than other titles - Daily Trust, The Guardian and ThisDay - across all genres. Straight news was predominant. The ineffective response of the government, in terms of its uncompromising behavior and inability to contain the insurgency, was widely reported. Findings also show that the newspapers dwelt so much inflammatorily on the impact of attacks by the sect and de-emphasized messages that could help end the violence. Nigerian newspapers should do more in terms of investigating and interpreting issues in a crisis instead of straight news reporting that lacks control. If they agree with this recommendation, framing patterns that bring solution to the problem, rather than stoke it, become easier to create.

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