The War against Oil Theft in the Niger Delta Region and Advocacy Campaigns by the Nigerian Press: A Normative Appraisal

Godwin B. Okon


With the down turn in the Nigerian economy occasioned by the menace of oil theft in the Niger Delta region, this study sought to analyse how the Nigerian press, through content, stimulated highlights that may help curb the menace. This necessitated content analyses of two newspapers and a magazine. The Guardian and This Day were purposively selected based on the fact that they are foremost national dailies with widespread readership as outlined by the Audit Bureau of Circulation while Tell magazine was selected based on its ideological posture and national spread. The third quarter of 2013 formed the period of study. Thirty-six issues of the newspapers/magazine spread across twelve weeks were selected and studied using a constructed calendar. Inter-coder reliability stood at 0.73. Findings revealed that the newspapers/magazine studied devoted less than 2% of their total news space to straight news on the subject matter with about 3% on features. For the editorial and advertorial spectrum, a lateral 0% was observed. Deductively, the newspapers/magazine studied did not devote significant space to advocacy. The findings further revealed that the reportage given to the subject matter by the newspapers/magazine was not sufficient to draw attention to the menace of oil theft and its attendant consequences. It was therefore recommended that Nigerian newspapers and magazines should focus content on issues of socio-economic importance. It was further recommended that Nigerian newspapers and magazines should intensify advocacy for proactive policies that will stem the tide of oil theft while paving way for egalitarianism in the Nigerian socio-economic sphere.

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Studies in Media and Communication      ISSN 2325-8071 (Print)   ISSN 2325-808X (Online)

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