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Hear students discuss under-reported news on CJTR's Human Rights Radio

Security agents in Nigeria have threatened, harassed, unlawfully detained and seized equipment of local reporters while covering stories on Boko Haram attacks in the country.

Founded in 2002, The Global Terrorism Index said Boko Haram had carried out terror attacks in four West African countries such as Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Nigeria, claiming about 6,644 lives, a record higher than attacks by ISIS. However, local reporters in Nigeria are finding it hard to report comprehensively on the Islamic sect and its attacks due to threats from the country’s security agents.

Index on Censorship reports that Joseph Hir, a Nigerian journalist, was arrested and tortured for writing a story that revealed how some female security officers were detained by their command because they had joined protesters who werecalling on the government to ensure the return and safety of over 200 Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by Boki Haram. While locked in a cell, Hir was asked to disclose his source but he refused.

Coverage from various mainstream media including BBC, CNN, CBC and other corporate media about the Chibok schoolgirl kidnapping were basically about the attack. Notot once was it mentioned that a certain journalist was arrested and tortured by Nigeria’s security agents while performing his primary duty in the society.



Alastair Sloan, “Nigeria: Journalists targeted in ‘war on terror.’ ” Index on Censorship,

June 3, 2014,

Aminu Abubakar, “FACTSHEET: How many schoolgirls did Boko Haram abduct and how many are still missing?” AfricaCheck, April 14, 2015,

Global Terrorism Index, “Measuring and understanding the impact of terrorism.” November 2015,


Student researcher: Osobade Oluwabusayo (University of Regina)

Faculty evaluator: Patricia W. Elliott (University of Regina)



About this project

“Project Censored is one of the organizations that we should listen to, to be assured that our newspapers and our broadcasting outlets are practicing thorough and ethical journalism.”
—Walter Cronkite

The School of Journalism's Top 25 Under-Reported Stories was developed in partnership with Project Censored. Project Censored was founded in 1976 as part of a media literacy course in Sonoma, California. Today it is operated by the Media Freedom Foundation. Hundreds of students across the U.S. and around the world contribute information about under-reported stories. Every year, the Media Freedom Foundation picks 25 to publish in their annual book. Project Censored on the Web.