Print Media Journalists’ Coverage of Agriculture elated Climate Change News in Nigeria


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Print Media Journalists’ Coverage of Agriculture related Climate Change News in Nigeria is a well-researched topic, it is to be used as a guide or framework for your Academic Research.


The study investigated print media journalists’ coverage of agriculture-related climate change news in Nigeria: Implications for achieving Vision
20:2020. The Vision 20:2020 conceptualizes a transformation in agriculture that would ensure food security, the right to sustainable
development, and adaptation to the climate change challenge. The study was carried out in Nigeria and the population comprises all the
national dailies institutions. Four national daily newspapers were purposively selected for the content analysis and a questionnaire schedule was administered to 150 randomly selected journalists’. The study revealed that the majority (89.4%) of the journalists sourced climate change information from the internet. The majority (275 of 332) of the climate change articles were not agriculture-related. Major constraints to the coverage of climate change news include lack of training in journalistic skills (M=3.53, S.D= 0.72); and lack of specialization among journalists (M=3.45; S.D= 0.87). Based on the findings the study recommended that there should be constant interaction between people with climate change information, the media, and farmers affected by climate change to increase awareness.


Agriculture has been identified as a major driver of growth in the Nigerian economy and must play a crucial role in achieving vision 2020 in
Nigeria. Vision 2020 is a long-term, national-level strategic framework that is indicative in nature. According to the vision, the agriculture sector shall be a technologically driven sector that is profitable, sustainable, and meets the socio-economic aspirations of Nigerians (the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2011). Research findings of Deb, S., Lynrah, M.M. & Tiwari, B.K., (2013) on agricultural practices in India show that farmers have started taken some innovative measures like fine systems against the destruction of natural forests, fire control measures, equity, conflict
management, allocation of plots for shifting cultivation practices to make agricultural practices less degradative. Other indigenous
technological innovations introduced by farming communities for making the system more productive include watersheds, range-and pasture lands which encourage sustainable initiative on a regional scale to arrest degradation caused by shifting cultivation (Meghalaya Agriculture Profile, 2006).

Nwajiuba, (2011) had noted that agriculture is been confronted by the compound challenges of climate change because the sector is
dependent on the natural resource base and thus faces risks such as desertification, rising temperatures, changing rainfall patterns leading to
degrading agriculture productivity and labor productivity. According to Adekunle, Olagoke, & Akindele, (2013) factors responsible for the
compound challenges of climate change effects in Nigeria are illegal activities in the forest, declining manpower and capacity in Forestry
Department, inadequate forest patrol, stoppage of the payment of annual royalty (formerly 5 % of total income) from what accrued from
logging activities to rural communities, outdated forestry laws and regulations. Therefore, delivering food security to an additional one billion people in Africa will become ever more challenging over the next four decades unless more intelligently management of natural resources and emerging opportunities are brought to bear (Orakpo, 2009).
It is often argued that Africa needs to follow the agro-industrial “Green Revolution” model implemented in many parts of Asia and Latin
America in previous decades. Using strains of crops that required agrochemical fertilizer, pesticides, and irrigation, these methods increased yields, but they also damaged the environment, caused dramatic loss of agro-biodiversity and associated traditional knowledge, favored wealthier farmers, and left some poorer ones deeper in debt. This cannot be sustainable in Africa, a continent that imports 90 percent of its agrochemicals, which most of the small-scale farmers cannot afford.

There is a dire need to apply science and technology that is environmentally friendly in the field of agriculture to reverse the trends of climate change through mitigation efforts. Adoption of Strict Nature Reserve (SNR) is a crucial method for in situ conservation of biodiversity so as to militate against the effects of Climate Change in Nigeria (Adekunle, Olagoke, & Akindele, 2013). Others include Biosphere Reserves, Game Reserves, Regeneration Plots, Permanent Sample Plots, and Sacred Groves which are created to protect representative samples of natural ecosystems for preservation of biodiversity and ecological processes, scientific study, environmental monitoring, education and the
maintenance of genetic resources in a dynamic and evolutionary state (Isichei 1995).

The attainment of any desirable climate condition will depend to some extent on the facts, figures, and opinions available to the public. It has
been noted that the success of agricultural development programs in developing countries largely depends on the nature and extent of use
of mass media in the mobilization of people for development (Purushothaman, Kavaskar, Reddy, and Kanagasabapathi, 2003). Generally speaking, as far as the education of the farmers is concerned, extension organizations are using different ways and means including print media to educate the farming community, focusing on giving them the latest knowledge of agriculture, and developing their attitude toward sustainable agriculture. Mass print media such as newspapers have remained a potent and fundamental tool for technology transfer in that newspapers can be stored for future reference; read and re-read at convenience, thus allowing a fuller and better understanding of message contents (Moemeka, 1990). In spite of print media coverage and storage advantages, there still remains a huge amount of uncertainty regarding the attention given to newspaper coverage of agricultural-related climate change issues in Africa generally and in Nigeria in particular. Nigerian journalists have often been accused of poor reportage of climate change news. Climate news stories and specifically agricultural-related climate change issues compete (often weakly) with other more immediate issues for public attention, and this leads to their marginality, as media officials are more concerned with local issues like crime and jobs (Boykoff and Roberts, 2007). Although a lot of useful agricultural climate information exists within the science community, it has been rendered of little significance to the ordinary public because much attention has not been given to newspaper coverage of agricultural climate change.

In view of the poor reportage of agriculture-related climate change issues by the journalists, the examination of print media journalists’
coverage of climate change news in Southern Nigeria daily newspapers becomes relevant. Does the question now relate to what then is responsible for this low spate of reportage? What are the information sources of journalists on climate change coverage? Are there individual, institutional or social factors that have negated the potentials of newspapers for reporting climate change? How frequently do they publish agricultural climate change issues? Again, what are the major constraints to the coverage of climate change news? This study is therefore designed to provide answers to the questions posed above.


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