The Influence of Multicultural Diversities in Journalism Practice

Filed in Articles by on November 4, 2022

 – The Influence of Multicultural Diversities in Journalism Practice – 

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The study was motivated from the backdrop that Nigeria is a dysfunctional multicultural society. The main objective of the study was to determine the influence of multicultural diversity on the practice of journalism in Nigeria. The study adopted a dual-method approach comprising survey and content analysis.

For survey, a sample of 492 journalists was drawn from the population of journalists registered with the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) in six states, each from a geopolitical zone and the Federal Capital territory. The sample was drawn through proportionate stratified random sampling. A 29-item questionnaire was used to obtain data for the survey aspect of the study.

For the content analysis design, four newspapers (Daily Trust, Leadership, The Guardian and Thisday) were purposively sampled for study. The analysis focused on two national events sensitive to multicultural diversity – the 2011 post-presidential election violence and the Boko Haram insurgency. The period of study covered April 19, 2011 – October 18, 2012.

Units of analysis were straight news reports, feature articles, letters-to-the- editor, and editorial comments about the two events. Content categories included views of parties in a story, attribution, region, religion, ethnic group, and tone of a story. Data obtained were manually analysed using frequencies and percentages.

Findings revealed that the journalists studied were not adequately guided by the sensitivity of multicultural diversities in reporting national issues, the journalists were not as objective as they should be in reporting multicultural diversity, and even though the journalists expressed knowledge of ethical and professional norms in reporting multicultural diversity, this knowledge did not translate to actual practice.


One outstanding reality in contemporary societies is the issue of diversity of cultures, also referred to as multicultural diversities (Titley, Kerr, & O’Riain, 2010). This issue has become a defining feature of socio-economic and political realities in most societies of the world as aptly noted by Pitcher (2009, p. 2) “…the existence of cultural difference whether understood in terms of race, ethnicity or religion has become fully acknowledged as a constituent part of the societies within which we live today.”

As it relates to humanity, diversity refers to “differences in sex, cultural practice, ethnic origin, religious affiliation, ideological stance, political leaning, place of habitation and so on” (Albert, 2000, p. 8). Nigeria is a multicultural society, with a population of over 150 million inhabitants scattered across two “unofficial but glaring” regions (North and South) and six  geopolitical zones (North-central, North-east, North-west, South-east, South-south, and South-west).

There are over 250 ethnic groups speaking about 400 dialects, with three (Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba) clearly standing out as the major ones. There are three major religions (Christianity, Islam, and African Traditional Religion) and over a dozen political parties. While many citizens live in the rural areas, others live in the urban areas. Diversity is also the case in class status, with many Nigerians belonging to low and average class status, and a few but the most powerful belonging to the high status.

Naturally, as observed by diversity scholars (Albert, 2000; Giordan, 2003; Pate, 2012; Babangida , 2012), multicultural diversities is not a problem, but could become one depending on how it is managed. It is not a problem when it is managed in a manner that produces the co-existence of many cultures in a society without any one culture dominating, domineering, manipulating and marginalizing the others (Udebunu, 2011).


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CSN Team.

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