Mass Media Agenda and Conflict Resolution in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria
The mass media are known to always 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 public glare. The media set agenda of peace, love, unity, etc, just to mention a few. As they raise these salient issues, people begin to think along that line. In recent times, Plateau State, especially Jos, has been characterised by one form of crisis or the other. This, in turn leads to loss of lives and property. This paper therefore, attempts to examine the relevance of the agenda setting role of the mass media in resolving the lingering crisis in Plateau State. In addition, the paper examines the way and manner the media have been used to manage the crises in Plateau State. The qualitative research method was adopted, employing the focus group discussion. 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 paper concludes that the extent to which the mass media are used to resolve crisis in Plateau State is minimal and recommends, among others that, the media should be constantly used to preach peace in Plateau State, so as to bring about lasting peace in Plateau State.
Key Words: Conflict, Mass Media, Agenda Setting, Peace and Development