CONTEXTUAL ANALYSIS OF THE POLITICAL CONTENTS OF SELECTED NIGERIAN NATIONAL NEWSPAPERS’ EDITORIALS IN THE 2011 AND 2015 GENERAL ELECTIONS
Of the traditional mass media, the newspaper has a vantage position of permanence. Be that as it may, the mass media gives clarification to knotty issues in the society; as was the case in the 2011 and 2015 electioneering period. Whereas campaigns in the period under reference were fraught with ideological justification, yet, the electorates had to make choices at the polls. The import of national newspapers through their editorial pronouncements needed to be established to ascertain their contributions to democratic enthronement in the Nigerian political adventure. With the geo-political zones of the nation culminating into 6, 5 national dailies: The Sun, The Punch, This Day, Leadership and Daily Trust were considered for the zones, each representing a zone. However, two dailies held the ace in the northern region against the three northern regions. The constructed and continuous week consideration resulted in 14 days, per daily per annum totalling 70 dailies per annum and 140 dailies for the two years as sample size taking from 365 editions per daily, by 5 dailies and by 2 years totalling 3,650 dailies following the data that ensued from the manually constructed code sheet as required by the content analysis research design. With an established reliability of 0.89 coefficient and employing simple percentages, it was found that the political contents of Nigerian national newspapers in year 2011 outnumbered those of year 2015 notwithstanding that general entries increased in 2015 than 2011. Essentially, newspaper firms were encouraged to improve their editorial content with emphasis to topical issues such as electioneering till an ideal is attained.
Key Words: Contextual Analysis, Political Contents, Nigerian National Newspapers, Editorials and Elections.