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Nigerian newspapers’ coverage of the effect of Boko Haram activities on the environment

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This study examined how Nigerian newspapers cover the effect of Boko Haram violence on the environment, the areas of the environment mostly affected by the Boko Haram violence, the prominence given to the coverage of the Boko Haram violence, the perspective from which the media reported the violence within the period of study and the forms of presentation of the reports on Boko Haram violence in Nigerian newspapers. The sample size for the study was 162 editions of three national dailiesĀ – The Punch, the Vanguard and the Daily Sun. The instrument of data collection was the coding guide and coding sheet because the research methodology was content-analysis of selected newspapers – The Punch, the Vanguard and the Daily Sun. Two hypotheses were tested using the chi-square analytical tool and the results showed that Nigerian dailies did not give prominence to Boko Haram-induced environmental problems during the period of study (December 2011, January 2012 and February 2012) and that Boko Haram violence significantly affects the environment. The result of the research revealed that the violence affects the environment, especially the land, which bears most of the brunt. The Nigerian dailies gave prominence to the Boko Haram insurgence, but little attention was paid to the environmental implications of the violence. On the basis of the findings, the researchers recommended to mass media operators that environmental beats should be given utmost priority in their organizations especially by separating this beat from property and housing beats, which are often merged with the environmental beat in most organizations. This merger could be playing down the pertinence of environmental reporting. Feature stories and editorial comments should be used more while presenting the environmental effects of Boko Haram activities in order to give a more in-depth interpretation to such happenings.
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Keywords: Boko Haram; Boko Haram Violence; environment; environmental destruction; environmental hazard; newspaper coverage; terrorism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Anambra State University

Publication date: March 1, 2014

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