Social Responsibility and Sexual Violence: Newspaper Coverage of Sexual Assault in Nigeria

By : Patricia E. ERNEST-ONUIRI (PhD), Oluwatobi R. BOLAJI, Omolayo O. JEGEDE (PhD),

Patricia E. ERNEST-ONUIRI (PhD), Department of Mass Communication, Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria.
Oluwatobi R. BOLAJI, Department of Mass Communication, Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria.
Omolayo O. JEGEDE (PhD), Department of Mass Communication,Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria.

 

Abstract

The growing cases of sexual assault in Nigeria calls for urgent action. The media is expected to give prominence to such social ills as part of their fundamental societal obligation; with intent to inform the society, as well as advocate against such menace. Research suggests that the manner in which the media report issues such as this does not portray the desired level of advocacy nor urgency it deserves. Adopting a content analysis of 51 purposively sampled stories, this study sought to determine the prominence, and direction of coverage of sexual assault by The Punch newspaper in 2015. The findings reveal that rape was the most prominent type of sexual assault reported; there was an unsatisfactory level of prominence in the coverage of sexual assault by The Punch newspaper in 2015 as only 17.6% were cover page stories. Also, majority (72.6%) of the stories were straight news reports on cases of sexual assault, while only 7.8% of the stories were directed towards advocacy. The study recommends that more prominence should be given to the coverage of sexual assault, especially in the areas of advocacy, and counsel of assault victims.

 

Keywords: Sexual Assault, Social Responsibility, level of prominence, The Punch Newspaper

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