Framing of Climate Change News in Four National Daily Newspapers in Southern Nigeria


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underlying theoretical assumption of this study
is that understanding how the climate issues are framed by jour-
nalists is of vital importance to how the general public and poli-
cy makers will respond to lifestyle changes necessary to mitigate
and adapt to climate predictions. e study examined the fram-
ing of climate change news in four national daily newspapers in
southern Nigeria namely: Guardian, isDay, Vanguard and
Daily Sun. e results showed that the majority of the articles
used a negative tone in reporting the headlines, and that the two
most common frames for climate change were “blame” and “ac-
tion.” e study therefore recommends that media organiza-
tions should re-allocate some of their time and energy to ex-
plaining more of the specifics behind the mitigation and
adaptive solutions to deal with global climate change, especially,
as it relates to agriculture, rather than devoting most of their
time explaining the science behind global climate change.
Resumé: L’hypothèse théorique sous-jacente de cette étude est:
comprendre comment les questions climatiques sont présentées
parlesjournalistes, a une importance vitale surla manière de réa-
gir des décideurs politiques et du grand public face aux change-
ments de mode de vie nécessaires pour atténuerles prévisions cli-
matiques ets’y adapter. L’étude a examiné la présentation desinfos
sur le changement climatique dans quatre quotidiens nationaux
dansle sud du Nigéria à savoir: le Guardian,isDay, Vanguard et
Daily Sun. Lesrésultats ont montré que la majorité des articles ont
utilisé un ton négatif danslestitres à la une desjournaux, et que les
deux discoursles plus courantssurle changement climatique ont
été “d’accusation” et “d’action”. L’étude recommande donc que les
organisations des médias devraient ré-allouer une partie de leur
temps et énergie à expliquer plus en détail les mesures derrière les
solutions d’atténuation et d’adaptation pourfaire face au change-
ment climatique mondial, en particulier en ce qui concerne l’a-
griculture, plutôt que de consacrer la plupart de leur temps à ex-
pliquer la science derrière le changement climatique.
Resumen: El supuesto teórico subyacente de este estudio es que
el conocer cómo los periodistas enmarcan los temas climáticos
es de vital importancia para la forma en que el público en gener-
al y los formuladores de políticas responden ante los cambios en
estilo de vida que son necesarios para mitigar y adaptarse a las
predicciones climáticas. El estudio examinó la enmarcación de
noticias sobre el cambio climático en cuatro periódicos de circu-
lación nacional en el sur de Nigeria, a saber: Guardian, isDay,
Vanguard y Daily Sun. Los resultados mostraron que la mayoría
de los artículos utilizan un tono negativo en la redacción de los
titulares, y que los dos marcos más comunes para el cambio
climático eran “culpa” y “acción”. Por lo tanto, el estudio reco-
mienda que las organizaciones de los medios de comunicación
reasignen parte de su tiempo y energía para explicar más los de-
talles específicos detrás de las soluciones de mitigación y adapta-
ción para hacer frente al cambio climático global, sobre todo re-
specta a la agricultura, en lugar de dedicar la mayor parte de su
tiempo explicando la ciencia detrás del cambio climático global.


Global climate change is certainly one of the most press-
ing concerns of the 21st century. Africa—and more spe-
cifically Nigeria—is a place which scientists agree is likely
to suffer dire consequences of climate change. Accord-
ing to Chris (2009), gas flares in the Niger-Delta region
produce very large halos of lights; this affirms Oyebade’s
(2009) the assertion that Nigeria is not only a victim but
also a contributor to global climate change and its con-
sequences. In one of the conferences on planning for cli-
mate change planning in Nigeria, some of these conse-
quences were discussed. ese include imminent drought
and water restrictions and a subsequent greater need for
alternative farming practices, the threat of rising sea lev-
els wreaking havoc on coastal tourism and the fishing
industry, and the spread of disease causing organisms
(Ogbonna, 2009; Awosika and Folorunsho, 2009).
When it comes to media coverage of climate change,
there is oen a significant acceptance of political and ex-
pert voices by the public (McManus, 2000). Studies have shown that the public learns a lot about science through
consuming mass media news (Wilson 1995). Moreover,
the complex issue of public trust in authority figures
may feed back into and influence climate policy deci-
sion-making (Lorenzoni and Pidgeon 2006). Carvalho
(2007) observed that prominent political actors success-
fully frame climate risk for their purposes, and align
those frames with their interests and perspectives. In
other words, different frames highlight different aspects
of the options and bring forth different reasons and con-
siderations that influence decision making.

Additional information


Project Topic and Material


Agricultural Science Education

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