Coverage of Lassa Fever in Four Nigerian Newspapers by Felix Olajide TALABI (Ph.D)

By: Felix Olajide TALABI (Ph.D)

Felix Olajide TALABI (Ph.D), Department of Mass Communication, Faculty of Social and Management Sciences, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, Nigeria.

Abstract

The press, generally referred to as the fourth estate of the realm is positioned to be the watchdog for the greater good of the society. Few of the responsibilities of the press are to inform and to educate the public. Newspapers combine these responsibilities with onerous consistencies. This study therefore investigated newspaper coverage of Lass fever in Nigeria between January and April 2016. This study adopted content analysis research method with 484 editions of newspapers serving as the population. A sample size of 219 newspapers was randomly selected. Data generated were presented in tables and charts. The findings from the study showed that the newspapers were neutral in their reportage. The newspapers did not give prominence to Lassa fever because most of the stories were not placed on the front page. It was also discovered that the newspapers were suggestive in their coverage of Lassa fever through interview and straight news. It was recommended that health information should be given prominence attention by placing these issues on the front pages of the newspapers in order to attract readers.

 

Keywords: Health, Lassa fever, Media Coverage, Newspaper, Treatment

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