PATTERNS OF NIGERIAN NEWSPAPER COVERAGE OF CLIMATE CHANGE (2009-2011)
Given the dire consequences of this change, this study tries to find out how the newspapers have performed their primary functions of informing, sensitizing and educating the citizenry with particular reference to the warning and instrumental perspectives of surveillance and correlational functions of the mass media. The objectives of the study are therefore, to: 1) find out the volume of Nigerian newspapers carry reports on climate change; 2)ascertain the kinds of reports of climate change carried in the Nigerian newspapers; 3)determine the extent of analysis or interpretation given to stories on climate change in the selected newspapers; 4)ascertain what issue(s) of climate change that are dominant in Nigerian newspapers; 5)determine the level prominence (story placement and length) given to issues of climate change in the newspapers studied; 6)determine the locality (domestic or foreign) the stories on climate change mainly focused on; 7) find out the constraints/challenges the reporters/newspapers face in covering climate change. Content analysis and in-depth interview research methods were used. It was found that i) rain/flood was the climate change issue mostly carried in the newspapers; ii) that the stories were mostly straight news stories; iii) that most of the stories were not educative; iv) that the number of stories carried were low when compared with other issues carried in the newspapers; v) that the stories were given low prominence; vi) that the stories were mainly local news. It was recommended that newspaper houses should send their environmental reporters to further trainings to became better-informed on the underlying issue of climate change; that the media reporters should be more proactive than reactive in their writings on climate change; the reporters to engage on extensive research and investigation on climate change; the media should involve themselves in extensive climate change advocacy for responsible, responsive and proactive climate change policies and laws, should also push for establishment Strategic Climate Change Trust Fund, calls for better support and compensation for the most vulnerable countries.