COVERAGE OF COMMUNICABLE AND NON-COMMUNICABLE DISEASES IN SELECT NIGERIAN NEWSPAPERS: A CONTENT ANALYSIS

Edith Ugochi Ohaja (PhD), Kenechukwu Josemaria Ugwu, Lilian Kovoroba Asicus

Abstract


This study compared  how Nigerian newspapers covered communicable diseases (CDs) and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) given that the latter are often silent killers that not only have high mortality rates but often lead to chronic conditions characterised by pain, disability and huge financial burdens. The study also examined the prominence and interpretativeness of the stories on the diseases. The study was a content analysis of four purposively chosen national newspapers from Jane 2017 to December 2020. The sample was chosen through the constructed and continuous weeks method and consisted of 224 editions. The sample yielded 190 relevant stories and the data were analysed with descriptive statistics, namely, frequencies, percentages and ratios. The findings indicated, inter alia, that the newspapers wrote more reports on CDs than NCDs but their overall reports about diseases were couched in the straight news form and were not interpretative. The study recommended, among other things, that the press should set beneficial agenda through its health reports to help people learn how to escape and control sickness. Such agenda would also drive policies and programmes that positively affect people's health.


Keywords


Coverage, Newspapers, Press, Communicable Disease, Non-communicable disease.

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