Effectiveness of Television in Reporting Banditry Attacks in Nigeria



1.1 Background Of The Study

Historically, there has been an increasing rate of banditry attacks by Fulani herders in farming regions, evolving from a community conflict into deadly paramilitary groups (Claire, 2021). Banditry, according to Adegoke (2019), has become an enticing source of income in Nigeria, where weak governance, unemployment, poverty, and inequality have left citizens with few choices for survival. Notably, manpower and resources are inadequately supplied in the Nigerian security sector, making it difficult to successfully tackle banditry. Additionally, unpoliced borders have helped the spread of small guns and light weaponry among bandit gangs (Kuna, 2016). The increase in banditry and attacks has had a negative impact on people’s livelihoods and the provision of essential services throughout the northwest area.. The rise in bandit groups’ attacks has resulted in the shattering of lives and property, the displacement of people from their homes, and an increasing number of widows, widowers, and orphans who now reside in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps as a result of the continued attacks of armed bandits on both farming and pastoral communities in various areas of the state (Okoli & Ochim, 2016). Since 2011, according to Murtala (2018), approximately 200,000 individuals have escaped bandit operations and have been internally displaced. Bandits’ actions have recently reached an alarming prevalence in Nigeria, as they continue to kill community farmers, set fire to police stations, invade government facilities, schools, and jails, and so on. As a result of the inadequacy of security and media coverage in Nigeria’s rural areas, community residents are at the mercy of bandits. The importance of the media in covering such critical events cannot be overstated, since the public relies completely on them for credible information. However, as the number of heinous bandit operations grows, Adebayor (2016) highlighted his discontent with the degree of banditry news coverage on television stations. To that end, he noted that television broadcasts are not appropriately reporting on the peak of bandit terrorism in primarily rural regions. Similarly, Makyn (2014) hypothesized that the majority of Nigerians seek true information about bandit activities through television broadcasts since they provide realistic videos and photos, as opposed to other forms of mass media. Because the media (television) is tasked with the essential functions of teaching, generating awareness, and keeping the public informed about crucial circumstances and events in society, there is a need to rigorously examine television’s efficacy in covering banditry in Nigeria.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

Banditry, as postulated by Mustapha, (2019), is a type of organized crime that includes kidnapping, armed robbery, murder, rape, livestock rustling, and environmental resource exploitation, has become a growing menace to Nigerians, and has become a s banditry has become a serious security challenge terrorizing localities, murdering and displacing thousands, slowing socioeconomic growth, and putting democratic governance at jeopardy. With the persisting terrorism, there is a need to keep the public informed and updated on the status and diverse operational systems of bandits through the media in order to create security consciousness among the surviving(Nwannah 2020).

Television, as a mass media, is a route for delivering information to a large, diverse, anonymous, and dispersed audience. Television performs a surveillance function by providing information to society, which shapes people’s views and attitudes  and its  correlational role implies that it relates news and various societal happenings to the individual’s life and environment, it does so through interpretation and explanation of the implications of events on the lives and environments of the masses, including the implications of acts that breed insecurity in society (Diriyai, 2012). Concerns have been raised about television broadcasters’ failure to report most instances of banditry in Nigeria. According to Adebayor (2016), the peak of bandit terrorism in mainly rural regions is not effectively highlighted on television channels. This lack of publicity has had a significant impact on the masses understanding of banditry operations.  Similarly, Makyn (2014) asserted that the majority of Nigerian citizens are in demand for authentic information about the operation of bandits through television broadcasts as they present realistic videos and images compared with other kinds of mass media. However, this demand is not adequately satisfied as the TV channels confront difficulty in accommodating a large number of news stories. Since the media (e.g., television) is delegated the duty of keeping the public informed, it therefore becomes vital to examine the effectiveness of television in reporting banditry news in Nigeria.

1.3 Objectives Of The Study

The general aim of this study is to determine the effectiveness of television in the reporting of banditry in Nigeria. To achieve this, the study will;

  1. Examine the benefits of television news coverage to the audience.
  2. Determine the extent to which television reports banditry news to the audience.
  3. Determine if television is effective in the reporting of banditry operations in Nigeria.
  4. Ascertain the factors impeding the effectiveness of television in reporting banditry activities in Nigeria.

1.4 Research Hypotheses

The validity of the following hypotheses will be tested in the course of this study.

H01: The extent to which television reports banditry news to the audience is low.

H02: Television as news media is not effective in the reporting of banditry operations in Nigeria.

1.5 Significance Of The Study

The outcome of this study will serve as a reminder to television news conveyors of the need to constantly disseminate adequate information to the audience regarding the operation of bandits and the practice required to stay security-conscious at all times. Additionally, subsequent researchers will use it as a literature review. This means that other students who may decide to conduct studies in this area will have the opportunity to use this study as available literature that can be subjected to critical review. Invariably, the result of the study contributes immensely to the body of academic knowledge with regard to the effectiveness of television in reporting banditry operations in Nigeria.

1.6 Scope Of The Study

The study, from the general point of view, aims at examining the effectiveness of television in the reporting of banditry in Nigeria. However, the study will further and specifically examine the benefits of television news coverage to the audience, determine the extent to which television reports banditry news to the audience, determine if television is effective in the reporting of banditry operations in Nigeria, and ascertain the factors impeding the effectiveness of television in reporting banditry activities in Nigeria. Therefore AIT and TVC news will serve as case study for this project.

1.7 Limitation Of The Study

Like in every human endeavour, the researcher encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. More so, the researcher simultaneously engaged in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.

1.8 Definition Of Terms

Banditry: This is a type of organized crime committed by outlaws typically involving the threat or use of violence.

Mass media: This is a diverse array of media technologies that reach a large audience via mass communication.

News media: These are forms of mass media that focus on delivering news to the general public or a target public.

Television: This is a system for converting visual images (with sound) into electrical signals, transmitting them by radio or other means, and displaying them electronically on a screen.


Adebayor (2016), Mass Media, Public Interest and national Security in a Democracy.

Adegoke, S. G. (2019). Insurgency, armed banditry and corruption in Nigeria: The bane of socio-economic underdevelopment.

Claire Brenner (2021),  Combating Banditry in Northwest Nigeria.

Diriyai, N. (2012), Reportage of Terrorism in Nigeria. The Nigerian Journal of Communications

Kuna, M. J. & Jibrin. I. (eds.) (2016). Rural banditry and conflicts in Northern Nigeria, Abuja: Centre for Democracy and Development.

Makyn (2014), The Role of the Broadcast media in preventing Political violence during elections.

Murtala, A. R. (2018). Cattle rustling and armed banditry along Nigeria-Niger borderlands.

Murtala, A. R. (2018). Cattle rustling and armed banditry along Nigeria-Niger borderlands.

Mustapha, U. N. (2019). Armed banditry and internal security in Zamfara State.

Nwannah, I. (2020). Armed bandits kidnap Imam, 17 worshippers from mosque in Zamfara. Vanguard, November 23rd.

Okoli, A. C. & Ochim, F. (2016). Forestlands and national security in Nigeria: A threat-import analysis.

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