ROLE OF MEDIA IN CONFLICTS MANAGEMENT AND RESOLUTION A CASE STUDY OF JOS
The role played by media in conflicts has been an issue of discussion all over the world. Although media influence has increased tremendously in the last decade, researchers are yet to agree on the degree and magnitude of its influence in conflicts. The media are always known to set agenda for the public to follow; this they do by raising salient issues, occurrences and events as they happen in the society and bringing them to the public. The media set agenda of peace, love, unity etc. in recent times, Plateau state, especially Jos has been characterized by one form of crises or the other; this in turn leads to loss of lives and properties. This research work therefore attempts to examine the relevant role played by the media in resolving the lingering crises in Plateau state. In addition, the research work examines the way and manner the media have been used to manage the crises in Plateau state. The aim of this study was to analyze the role of media in conflict management, with reference to the crises in Jos North Local Government Area as the case area. The specific objectives were to establish the media accessibility level and the various types of media coverage; to establish the extent to which media escalated and/or deescalated violence and to determine how media could influence selected human factors towards conflict in the area of study. The research utilized both primary and secondary method of data generation. Instruments were adopted in gathering information for quality work. Instruments such as Newspapers, internet, radio, journals and television were used to gather information about the activities carried out by the media in conflict situations. Other methods adopted were through questionnaires and interviews. Findings show that the media have a crucial role to play in conflict resolution. Findings further show that the media have not been giving objective reports of the Jos crises and this tends to escalate the crises. Based on the findings, the research work concludes that the extent to which the media are used to resolve crises in Plateau state is minimal and recommends, among others, that the media should be constantly used to preach peace, so as to bring about lasting peace in Plateau state.