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According to Imobighe quoted in Ajao (2005), security is “the freedom from or the absence of those tendencies which could undermine internal cohesion and the corporate existence of the nation and its ability to maintain its vital institutions for the promotion of its core values and socio-political cum economic objectives of the people”. Security can also be defined as freedom from danger of existence and property and existence of a safe atmosphere for the people to go about their legitimate interests within their environment.
 There are divergent views on the relationship between broadcasting and violence.  The question often asked is does broadcasting promote violence?  Up till now, there is no conclusive audience to show that broadcasting is responsible for violence.  However, some researches indicated that it could accentuate or worsen the volatile situation.
Terrorism has been defined in many different terms; but it’s generally believed that it is an international attempt to inflict fear; trepidation and hopelessness on citizens of other nations; while those who engage in the act of terrorism are usually disgruntle people.  Most times their reasons for engaging in terrorism are not acceptable to international etiquette.
According to Lai Oso (2002:1), “the way and manner in which development is conceived has over the years, had an over-bearing impact on how we in turn conceive communication, how to use it and relation to other social institutions and processes; especially the process of social change’’.
Therefore, an attempt to fully understand the role of broadcasting in global terrorism takes us back to media studies on media effect. Originally, the media were thought to be all powerful and omnipotent; and this form the basis of initial attempt to use the media to promote development.  Following the regime of frustration that emerged from this attempt, there was a sudden change to zero effect theories which portrays the media as being weak, ineffective and lacking in influence.
Based on extensive researches, and a comparison of various schools of thought, it is most prudent to perceive broadcasting not necessarily as an agent of global terrorism.  It may or may not have an influence on global terrorism.
Research has not indicted that all or most of those who listen to or watch terrorism related programmes are terrorists. Therefore, international broadcasting cannot be blamed for the spread of global terrorism.
It must also be realized that to a large extent broadcasting could be used to discourage, reduce or eradicate terrorism.  The first thing is to identify and examine the factors that make people predisposed to violence and terrorism media campaigns to get at the root of these factors can then be launched.
Terrorism, according to Oxford advanced learner’s dictionary, is the use of violent action in order to achieve political aims or to force a government to act.  Terrorism is a graduational issue.  It may start in form of protest.  The protest can be initially peaceful or violent against injustices or perceived injustices against a group or section of the society.  This violence could degenerate to destruction of not only property but human lives, and finally snowball into total terrorism. Therefore, terrorism is an advanced violent action employed by a person or group of persons to force a government to act on their request.
According to Anifowose (1982:1) in Ologbenla (2011), the concept of violence “serves as a catch-all for every variety of protest, militancy, coercion, destruction, or muscle-flexing which a given observer happens to fear or condemn”.  Ologbenla further states “that, violence may mean the use of illegitimate or illegal means to achieve desired political or non political goals.  Violence, could be an instrument employed by non-governmental organisations, individual and group to press forward certain demands (e.g. Trade Unions using picketing to block factory gates)”.
There is no any society existing without its own level of violence but what is unacceptable is either provoked or unprovoked and unrestrained destructive violence.  Political violence has been the one of the undisputable threat to democratic process and consolidation in Nigeria since 1960.  The first democratic experience (1960-1966) after independence from British government was cut short by wide spread of political violence.  This smouldering violence degenerated into civil war between 1967 and 1970.  It was the same widespread of political violence that brought an end to the second Republic under which presidential system of government was first experimented in Nigeria.  It was political disagreement that snowballed into violence and rubbished the first and second republic.
Violence related terrorism is becoming rife in different forms in Nigeria today.  All efforts to put an end to it are not yielding fruits, mainly military, legal and dialogue options.  There is urgent need to address the issue perhaps through the employment of mass media.  This is the focus of this paper.  The paper examined the usefulness and relevance of mass media towards getting rid of terrorism in our society.

It can be stated precisely that Nigeria has been experiencing large scale of violence that involved the use of bomb explosives and other sophisticated war weapons since 2009 after the extra judicial murder of Boko Haram leader, Muhammed Yusuf in 2009.
The terrorism act of the group became more intensive immediately after 2011 election and is becoming more and more escalated everyday with sophisticated weapons being in use in Northern part of the country.
According to Aderogba (2002), “it is not an overstatement to assert that lack of consensus within the international community on what constitute terrorism the constraints in arriving at less hectic and consensus modalities on how to confront terrorism”.
He explained further that the divergent of opinions arise between the divides of the world, the West and The South poles and between the allies of the conflicting parties; and that terrorism is a socio-political concept, which explains the act of responding to issues through destructive method. The main thing he said was that terrorism arose as a form of response to certain action and issues affecting the terrorists.
The reaction stirred by the recent sectarian violence in Jos and other parts of Plateau state  confirmed the fears of Vice President Goodluck Jonathan that the crisis could threaten the unity of this country if allow to linger (Tell February 8, 2010, p. 30).
The Northern States of Kano, Gombe, Kaduna, Plateau, Yobe, Taraba and Borno have been terribly turned to pariah state by the activities of Boko Haram.Effort to settle the violence through dialogue remains fruitless. Several thousands of human lives and many properties worth billions of Naira have been lost to this act of terrorism since its escalation in 2009.  In 2010, when the violence was much, many state governments in Southern part of the country sent rescue vehicles to evacuate their citizens from Jos as the violence reportedly spread to every part of the city and surrounding communities.  Osun, Ekiti, Delta, Bayelsa and Lagos State were among the states that evacuated their people from the troubled city.  To relate the terrorist act in most Northern city of Nigeria and lingering political cum religious violence in the capital city of Plateau, Jos is a conundrum that is left to be unravelled by social scientists.
Terrorism is a controversial concept like any other social sciences concepts.  The concept gives way to many interpretations and misinterpretations which results in concept ambiguity.
  While terrorists sees their action as a way of achieving their group aspirations and interest, the victims sees it as senseless act directed at innocent people without a cause, (Aderogba: 2002).
Political violence in Nigeria has been on the front burners since the restoration of democratic rule in 1999.  The dimension of political violence no doubt is a reflection of the character of politics.  The peculiar features of prevailing politics are founded in the contraption of post-military order, which exhibit lack of a level-playing field and contempt for the opposition, (Friedrich Ebert Stiftung:2006).
The conceptual ambiguity of terrorism is lack of consensus on the classification of the interest of terrorists group.  In an interview granted by the Alhaji Attahiru Mohammed Ahmad, Emir of Anka, Zamfara state in the Guardian July 7, 2012, he said that the Boko Haram menace in the North was never a Jihad, and that the time of Jihad has ended with Prophet Mohammed.Therefore, the belief that the terrorists in the country are in support of a religion against the other was not true.  He added that Prophet Mohammed did not provoke any war and the he only fought a war of self-defence. He further pointed out an instance where Boko Haram sect were killed traditional rulers, the police and attacking banks to get money to carry out their operation.  “How can somebody who is fighting in the name of Islam be robbing people”, he asked.
The cultural belief, religion, race and political conscious, exercises a great influence in the ideology of an individual, group or nation.  For instance, a group that believes that everything you do for your race or group is for the sake of religion and that you will be adequately rewarded in the hereafter for dying for the course, will not hesitate employing any strategy in achieving this including violence.
The relationship between the perceived terrorist sponsors and the victims is another debacle in understanding the concept.In Nigeria the alleged sponsors are the politicians, while the victims are their supporters and the entire society they are to preside or presiding over.  It is crystal clear that the conceptual ambiguity is responsible for the failure of various instruments including media adopted in putting an end to terrorism.
The media cannot fight terrorism alone. It is clear that, there is symbiotic relationship between the state, police, security and press in any democratic dispensation, and all of these institutions should endeavour to function within the limit of legal framework that bind the state together.


Although the media promote culture, development and excellence in the society; yet they pay little or no attention to the aftermaths of their news or programmes through which they disseminate such to the society.  There is the need for media professionals to make the issue of research on the effect of their messages.  This will make them to consolidate on those aspects that would have positive effects on the society.
In an article by Ukanah Oluwole (Nigerian Tribune, Feb. 27, 1996; iv), it was stated that television, video and other audio-visual machines exert a great deal of control and influence on people.  They shape, to a great extent, people’s dispositions, speech, behaviours, characters, ways of life, idiosyncrasies, and so on.   Onabajo et. al (2009) stated that the people’s social, cultural, physical, psychological, spiritual lives and even education can be made by these highly influential channels of communication.  This is because what we see or hear filters so much into our subconscious that we begin to act or live out those things one way or the other.
A group with the highest tendency of being influenced by what they see, her or find in their environment is the group made up of children and the youths in the society.  Ojomo (2000:19) says that children’s and youth’s categories of the society are the most vulnerable to the rampaging effects of video and film. Some kinds of communication on some kinds of issues brought to the attention of some kinds of people under some kinds of conditions have some kinds of effects – Bernard Berelson, 1948.
According to Lawal and Akinfeleye (ed) (2010), the film like theatre and other media in the contemporary society communicates various messages to its audience.  Apart from its entertainment roles, the film transmits subtle messages about society, its lifestyle, the future and the past.  One of the advantages it has over the theatre is that it transmits its messages in quick successions within a limited time.
Nowadays, the messages of video films are those which help the individual to cognize the world i.e. gain better understanding of his environment and make necessary adjustments to it.  These messages are those which he uses in his everyday life and which do not only reflect but also influence the society.  Therefore, film has specific roles which it plays in a particular society it is made for.  In Nigeria, the specific goal which video film seeks to achieve are:
(i)                 To serve as a conduit through which a continuous flow of message and information are disseminated to add value to the social, political and cultural interaction between peoples in a heterogeneous society like Nigeria.
(ii)               To serve as the image of the society at large, thereby forming the yard stick through which the outside world mirror the society.  Joweff (1976, p. 5) points out that communication scientists have stressed that this interaction is “the basis for the development of national interest and emotional bonds which can create a geographically extended common culture.
(iii)             To serve as a means of entertainment and recreation, during the leisure period i.e. when social activities commence after a hard day job, film can serve as a relaxing mode of entertainment for any individual.  Film can also be used to occupy one’s time as a means of recreational activity.
(iv)             Lastly, to be used as the voice that speaks to the outside world, this can be achieved by taking the indigenous films to the international audience to see what African culture is made of, Akinfeleye (ed) (2010).
According to Dare in (Oduko:1992), in the May, 1979, issue of the popular Nigerian magazine Drum, a reader complained in a letter to the editor about what he saw as the unwholesome influence of foreign television films on the Nigerian youth.  Most of the American cowboy and crime films encourage youths steal and rob because they show how to plan and execute robberies with military precision, he said, adding, can the time devoted to foreign films be used for educative programmes that encourage study and hard work?
He added that in a review article on the first 20 years of television in Nigerian (Daily sketch, September 15 1979, p. 8), a commentator, Kayode Muritala, stated: “The general consensus is that activities in these (violent) films are affecting the mode of lives (sic) of the people – particularly the young as well as criminally-minded persons.
Most people, he continued are of the opinion that thieves, armed robbers, pick-pockets and tricksters learn a lot of their tricks and use of dangerous weapons through this medium.  He ended by calling for a complete halt in the use of foreign films on Nigerian television in the shortest possible time.
… The social effects of mass communication remain the most controversial and most indeterminate.  Communication may achieve the purpose which it is intended, in which case it is said to be functional; it may produce an effect opposite to the one intended, in which case it is dysfunctional: and it may produce no effect at all.  But the circumstances under which it will produce one effect rather than another, and the type of person in which one effect rather than another will be manifest, cannot be precisely determined, (Dare:1992).

The tide of terrorism needs to be appropriately addressed to achieve a peaceful society.  The fact that the act continues unabated but more dangerous in nature implies that the tactics need to be changed.  A social approach is necessary since the act of terrorism is cause induce.
Mass media include newspaper, magazine, books, internet, telephone, radio, television films etc.
Mass media are means of disseminating messages to a large audience of heterogeneous background that are scattered over a large geographical area at the same time.
The rational for the mass media role as ‘mobilizers’ is basically on the need to reach the entire target population with news information and message.  Inherent in this mobilization role is the necessity to foster the physical and mental development of an individual, and therefore of the entire community, to encourage intelligent co-existence among communities and to advance national development.  The task of mobilization includes inducing, nurturing and facilitating the requisite knowledge to enhance the attainment of development objectives (Moemeka: 2000) in (Joseph: 2010).
Joseph explained further that the crux of the matter is to provide opportunities for the (sic) our youth to exercise their right to communicate which entails the right to relevant information, the right to feedback, and the right to use the means of communication or interaction in a group setting, a right that will go a great extent to check some the (sic) excesses of youth life.  This stresses the need for the mass media to exist primarily for their audience first before any other organ or institution.  The mass media are custodians of public conscience, watchdog over government activities, moulding public opinion as well as an essential agent in facilitating the mobilization of the citizenry. Joseph states that mass media are often seen as playing important functions in the development of any society and are generally accepted as the fourth estate of realm of governance.
Contextually, the responsibility of the television mobilization for national development in a developing society cannot be over emphasized.  Mobilization for social development depends on the mass media for success.  Census election, currency change rally against social vices like drug abuse, environmental degradation, and recklessness on the highways, corruption, prostitution, bad governance and tax evasion all depend on the mass media. Mass media can introduce sponsored magazine programme in a more friendly way, posters, pamphlets and leaflets and tracks which are educating enough can be introduced.
Theatre and musical groups that can deliver the message can be sponsored. Even, competition and youth quiz programme on NTA short story competition can be introduced on peace and security topics.  The NTA station of every states of the federation are expected to have such programme in indigenous language that is dominant in their areas English version of the programme in every state will also be a useful tool.
The ability of television to mobilize and persuade people to behave in a given manner and perform certain actions has made it an effective tool for youth mobilization.  Television serves as an intermediary between the government and the people, because it assists government and the people, because it assists government in getting its plans and policies across to the people and the people in return get their responses, feeling and plight back to the government Joseph Loc. Cit.
Human behaviour development in the thinking of developmental psychologist changes as we grow.  In relation to this, perception moulds individual behaviour towards various world-views.  Mass media have all it takes to enhance perception.
Mass media can promote, sustain and preserve the values of the society.  Educational programme through the mass media can be designed to perform the stated function.  In a heterogeneous society like Nigeria where the values of one community are not acceptable to the other community, mass media programme can be deliberately designed to intervene for harmony.  This offers an opportunity for behavioural and comparison of values among communities.  It serves as a means of social integration and peaceful co-existence.
Among the mass media, television stands a better chance of educating and mobilizing the audience for integration and national development.  According to Momoh (1989) in Joseph (2010), the mass media need to mobilize people to begin to see the problems that affect and hinder the nation from developing hunger, illiteracy, dearth of social amenities, poor sanitation, diseases, poor health and fatalism.
He quoted further that Anyaegbunam (1993) notes that members of the given society, modern or traditional depend on mass media for the great deal of the knowledge they possess.  Consequently, he who controls the mass media virtually controls the mentality of the society.
In English language, as in every language, there are expressions that are largely denotative and “colourless”, while there are others that are “connotative”, coloured, loaded or pregnant.
The overly use of connotative expression is an index of emotion or the injection of personal feelings.
In journalism, denotative expressions are generally more preferred because of their tendency to be more objective.  In reporting violence and conflicts between communities or nations, the extensive use of connotative expressions such as “slaughter”, “massacre”, “religious extremists”, to describe killings, people and violence could lead to more tension in trouble areas.
Terrorist is enough word to identify those groups that have subjected this nation to this sorry state. Also there is the need for journalists to use more of denotative expression to convey information to the general public in order to avoid misinterpretation by the audience.
Publishing the names of those that are sponsoring the nefarious act of terrorism in Nigeria on the pages of newspaper, radio, television and putting same on the internet would go a long way in putting an end to the activities of the terrorists.  Publishing of names of sponsor must be with concrete evidence of their connection with the sect and destruction of lives and property.  The president Goodluck Jonathan said in 2011 that there were Boko Haram members in his government, in his cabinet, in the armed forces, in the civil service e and everywhere around him.  He must be sure of what he said.
Ogwezzy A.O (2010) states that “since it is a common knowledge that the media is the engine of mass communication and the avenue through which the public could be reached via a mechanical device both print and electronic…” In her study of the role of the media in reconciliation, rehabilitation and reconstruction of Disaster zone and victims recommends that religious and ethnic should be avoided in reportage, if such stories cannot present the views of all the major religious and ethnic groups.  This is to avoid touching on the sensibilities of people.
Mass communication is a society wide communication process in which an individual or institution uses technology to send messages a large mixed audience, most of whose members are not known to the sender.  Traditionally, mass communication has allowed only limited opportunities for feedback because the channels of communication are largely one-way.  However, with the development of interactive communication, opportunities for feedback are expanding rapidly (Hanson: 2005) in (Adamu: 2010).
Access to voice, information and knowledge are vita factors in facilitating eradication of terrorism in Nigeria.  Community radio provides a unique and effective means of giving voice and access to information and knowledge.  It empowers people and communities, enabling them to exchange news and information, as well as take part in developmental and political issues.  For those that cannot read and write, access to radio provides information in their local language.

It has been established that for mass media message to be meaningful it must be packaged with reference to the total milieu of the concerned.  It has equally be established that mass media has a sustainable strength to work to enhance the attainment of the societal aspirations.
However, the envisage goal of local and international efforts to put an end to global security concern refers to as terrorism is yet to yield desirable result and may still be eluding for a time to come because of the following factors.
(a)     Politics of Terrorism:  According to Aderogba (2002), “Terrorism has its own share of global international politics.  This affects its conception, methods of tackling it and even the supports it garners from the various actors in the international community.  Various solutions suggested reflect the school of thought or the polarity individual belongs.  This has a great consequence for the planning and content of education meant for this purpose.  For instance, while Western countries mainly Arab nations like Iran, Libya, Cuba, Iraq, Sudan, Syria and North Korea. (Newswatch, September, 2001, p. 26) and their efforts are geared towards this thinking.  Those countries sympathetic to the course of terrorist consider the acts with pathetic perception.  For instance in responding to September 11 attacks on US World Trade Center, Iraq counselled that the United States needs common sense and not force (Punch, September, 25, 2001 p. 38).  All these only point to the fact that issue of terrorism is treated with international politics with other issues”.
In Nigeria, there is no doubt that the reason behind terrorism is local politics of sharing the national cake but the dimension of terrorism attack may have been connected with international terrorists.  Various studies have showed that crisis occur in Nigeria in most cases based on politics of sharing of national cake such as job, position of authority, raw cash-in term of money, location of government seat in local and state level, award of scholarship and rigging of election. Some politicians are power hunger and could do anything abnormal to achieve their objectives. The zoning formula of the ruling People’s Democratic Party that is not properly adhered to in some places or position is a dangerous trend that may lead to unending feud among politicians.  It is certain that this political bickering might thwart the effort of the media and all other strategies initiated to end the terrorist attacks.
(b)    Inadequate packaging:  Not minding any perspective by which we choose to analysis terrorism, if mass media messages as an intervention instrument are not adequately planned and implemented, the solution may not come. In Nigeria, victims of terrorist are mainly Northern inhabitants.  Most people of this part of the country undoubtedly prefer messages packaged in Hausa languages.  However, there are minorities that have different languages.   Media messages that would penetrate the nooks and crannies of the society should take care of all the mentioned differences for effectiveness. At international level, victims of terrorism are mainly Western countries and their interests, their efforts are more of press war than a deliberate approach to problem solving which actually has its own serious limitation.
(c)    Credibility:  For media messages to be functional, the credibility of the source is necessary.  Lack of credibility of the medium and presenters of media messages may impede the acceptability of such messages.  According to McLuhan, the medium is the message.  This statement is still very relevant in media messages targeted at any societal debacle.  Newspapers, radio and television stations that face credibility problems in crisis ridden areas may not pass the message because people may not pay attention to these stations.  The fear that media messages package that may re-orientate and liberate the minds of their people are consciously view with scepticism.
(d)   Insensitivity:  The content of media messages that show a clear disregard for the environment and the society it is meant for would not see the light of the day.  The information supposed to be a rehabilitation effort, not indoctrination or imposed knowledge.  Media messages that are not packaged in their culture are not likely to any solution.

As much as the roles of the state, police and press are complementary, there should not be expression of bias and bitterness in reporting crime news to the public because the press’ main-tasks are to entertain, inform and educate. Meanwhile there is the need for objectivity and fairness in informing, educating and reporting crime news in the country. We are not advocating the ‘killing’ of crime news, but an objective reportage of such news should be done taking into consideration the overall security implications. This will surely promote professionalism and reduce the present level of criticism of journalism in the country, Olorunyomi, (2005).

The media have a role to play to ensure the realization of these ideals. The press as a major factor in this direction should take the issue of national security with utmost importance and fight to sustain Nigeria’s corporate existence. We have to realize that no matter our differences, our national interest should override all other considerations and interests.

Terrorism is a controversial concept like any other social sciences concepts.  The concept gives way to different interpretations and misinterpretations which results in concept ambiguity.  This paper examines the conceptual ambiguity of terrorism and confirms that this discordance contributes in no small way to the inefficiency of various intervention techniques.  It further confirms mass media as a reliable instrument of intervention but with some constraints which hinder its efficacy.
However, according to (Chaffee, 1977) as quoted in Adeniyi et. al. (2011), most recent theorizing about mass media effect seems to be suggesting that most mass media influences do not occur “across the board”, but are contingent on other variables.  Adeniyi refers to Joseph Klapper’s book “The effects of mass communication” (1960) which stated that mass communication ordinarily does not serve as a necessary and sufficient cause of audience effects, but serve as a necessary and sufficient cause of audience effects, but rather functions among and through a nexus of mediating factors and influences.  These mediating factors, according to Klapper are such that typically render mass communication a contributory agent, but not the sole cause, in a process of reinforcing the existing conditions … (P. 8).
In Nigeria, factors and variables such as poverty, political mistrust, hopelessness, socio-economic deprivations, scepticisms, official neglect and political corruption often serve as mediating factors and variables which, together with mass mediated messages via mass media did provoke direct, powerful and instantaneous reactions from the people.
Several findings from this study should help local producers discover what viewers want and thus improve on our local movies.  Nigerian Film Corporation as well as the government will have to buckle up to ensure that video film productions meet the yearnings and expectations of Nigerians.
Also, the mass media needs to report violence cases to the public without bias in their reports. In nut shell, mass media attempts to change society may be dysfunctional can disrupt stability. Therefore, mass media must position itself in a way whereby they can understand the belief, culture and views of their environment so as to develop message concept that will be acceptable to their teeming audience.

According to Onabajo (2009), it is not flattering to state that issues highlighted in most Nigerian home video films are still made up of violent-robbery, ritual performances, rivalry, conflicts, sensual violence, organized crime, prostitution, murder, greed, avarice, impatience, jealousy, envy, pride, arrogance, infidelity, treachery, occultism, love and hatred.
It is the beliefs of this paper that various suggestions offers will enhance the removal of these inadequacies.
It is clear that, there is symbiotic relationship between the state, police security and press in any democratic dispensation, and all of these institutions should endeavour to function within the limit of legal framework that bind the state together.

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