NEWSPAPER COVERAGE OF AGRICULTURAL NEWS FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT A CONTENT ANALYSIS OF DAILY TRUST, DAILY SUN, THE GUARDIAN AND VANGUARD NEWSPAPERS
Agricultural input towards national development dropped to an abysmal level on account of oil boom and other problems besieging agricultural sector. Nevertheless, the importance of agriculture to national development cannot be over-emphasized especially now that there is rapid decline in oil prices, massive unemployment, hunger and starvation etc. Therefore, this study examined newspaper coverage of agricultural news for national development. The study adopted content analysis as its research design. The population of the study is all editions/issues of Daily Trust, Sun, The Guardian and Vanguard newspapers published between 1st of January to 31st December, 2014. Using composite week sampling technique, the study arrived at 384 editions of newspapers as sample size. The Holsti’s inter-coder reliability check was used. The study found out that 94.6% of stories studied covered agriculture positively. However, in a sharp contrast, the study also revealed that no agricultural news was seen in front, back or centre spread pages of the 4 newspapers indicating lack of prominence. The study concluded that newspapers’ coverage of agricultural news has not been impressive. It was however, recommended among other things, that since issues are seen as important as the media made it to be based on the emphasis, placement and frames used by media, Nigeria media should accord all this to Agricultural news coverage.