PRESS COVERAGE OF ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION IN THE NIGER DELTA. A CONTENT ANALYSIS OF THE GUARDIAN, VANGUARD, DAILY SUN AND THISDAY NEWSPAPERS
Since man’s activity is done in the environment and the resultant effect is either negative or positive to man, the press as the watchdog of the society is expected to draw attention of all and Daily Sundry to environmental issues around them; one of which is environmental pollution. Hence, the study investigated press coverage of environmental pollution in the Niger Delta region by content analyzing four national newspapers: The Guardian, Vanguard, Daily Sun and Thisday with the view to finding out whether the Nigerian press cover environmental pollution in the Niger Delta, the extent of their coverage, the nature of news coverage given to environmental pollution in the region and forms of environmental pollution prevalent in the region as covered by the four newspapers. This study reveals that little coverage and low interpretation was given to the subject matter. Also, that no story on the subject matter made the front or back pages of the newspapers studied within the 9 months study period. Finally, that the most reported aspect of environmental pollution in the region is oil pollution and related activities. The findings led to the suggestions that media organizations should assign beat reporters to cover environmental issues in the country especially in the Niger Delta region. Also suggested is the introduction of environmental education in the school curriculum from primary to tertiary institutions to inculcate in the masses environmental friendly attitudes. Again, that government should ensure strict compliance to environmental laws in the country.