THEORIZING THE COMMUNICATION BEHAVIOR OF CONFLICT AUDIENCE: A GROUNDED THEORY APPROACH

Nancy Nanchin Katu-Ogundimu

Abstract


This study aims at developing a theoretical understanding of the communication behavior of conflict audience, using a grounded theory approach. Interviews and focus group discussions were conducted with (n=49) participants in Nigeria. Data was analysed using a constant comparative approach. The concept “dissemiusers,” which was created by the researcher emerged as a key finding that describes the communication behavior of conflict audiences. The study argues that factors such as lack of trust for the media, media ownership, perception of media bias and lack of adequate security impacts on the ability of journalists to perform their social responsibility roles, thus creating a gap that led to the audience “dissemiusing” information. The study also finds that the availability, accessibility and affordability of mobile phones and social media, aided this form of behavior and has had an impact in escalated the level of conflict. The study recommends training and retraining of journalists in conflict sensitive reporting and the establishment of a monitoring mechanism that could help the audience verify information sources before sharing through social media.


Keywords


Media, Conflict Audience, Communication, Empowerment, Nigeria

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