We Are Not Parasites: Intergroup Differentiation in the User-Generated Content of Nigerian News Media

© Media Watch 10 (1) 145-164, 2019
ISSN 0976-0911 e-ISSN 2249-8818
DOI: 10.15655/mw/2019/v10i1/49564


We Are Not Parasites: Intergroup Differentiation in the User-Generated Content of Nigerian News Media

1University of Ibadan, Nigeria
1,2North-West University, South Africa

Studies have shown that despite the freedom of content creation and democratic participation, the digital space has also provided platforms for negative discourse with far-reaching implications for national unity and democracy. However, scant scholarly attention has been given to the prevalence and nature of online negative discourse in a pluralistic and politically complex society like Nigeria. Therefore, anchored on the Social Identity Theory (SIT), this study examined forms of intergroup discrimination as a negative discourse in the user-generated content (UGC) of online platforms of select Nigerian news media. Textual analysis of the UGC shows that as users react to news stories about national issues, they also create contents that reflect group identities and intergroup prejudices characterising Nigeria as a country with fragile unity. This phenomenon is a new socio-cultural order that poses serious threats to the peaceful co-existence and future of Nigeria-a nation grappling with sundry political, ethno-religious and security challenges.

Keywords: Intergroup discrimination, negative discourse, Nigerian news media, online community, user-generated content


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Babatunde Raphael Ojebuyi (Ph.D., University of Ibadan, Nigeria, 2012) teaches communication and language arts courses in the Department of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Indigenous Language Media in Africa Research Entity, Faculty of Humanities, North-West University, Mafikeng campus, South Africa. Dr. Ojebuyi specialises in media studies and journalism, communication theory and ethics, new media, reading, and development communication.
Abiodun Salawu (Ph.D., University of Ibadan, Nigeria, 2001) is a Professor of Journalism, Communication and Media Studies and Director of the Research Entity, Indigenous Language Media in Africa (ILMA) at the North-West University, South Africa. He has taught and researched journalism for over two decades in Nigeria and South Africa. Professor Salawu is a co-vice chair of the journalism section of IAMCR and a member of editorial/advisory boards of a number of journals.