DISASTER RISK REDUCTION: FRAMING OF FLOOD DISASTER IN NIGERIAN NEWSPAPERS

Mutiu Adekunle Ganiyu, Rosli Mohammed, Awan Ismail

Abstract


The study examines how the Nigerian newspapers report flood disaster. Media plays crucial role in disaster risk reduction. Its reportage of flood disaster issues aids readers’ understanding of the activities that make them vulnerable and what to do to mitigate the risk. Also, it prepares them for effective management of disaster when it occurs and moulds people’s beliefs and perception about disaster risk reduction. Through framing, media assists people to draw “cognitive map” and influences behaviours.  Two Nigerian, English language newspapers (Punch and Trust) were selected for the study based on circulation and credibility. The contents of the hard copies of the newspapers published from January 1 – December 2012 were analysed.  The study reveals that the media was least active (18.56%) in creating awareness and educate populace before disaster occurrence. However, it was very active (81.44%) during and after flood occurrence. This shows that Nigerian media is not proactive in its reportage of flood disaster but reactive. The study recommends that media should see itself as a key stakeholder in disaster risk reduction and active participants in reducing disaster risk. These can be achieved by employing disaster risk reduction and proactive frames through disseminating information about disaster risk reduction, early warning and educating populace before disaster occurrence. More collaboration activities with other stakeholders and sustained campaign against activities that make society vulnerable to disaster are also recommended. These may help people to understand the urgent need to safeguard their society from the increasing spate of flood disaster.


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