Coverage of Corruption News by Major Newspapers in Nigeria

Olushola Samuel Fadairo, Anjolaoluwa Oreoluwa Fadairo, Olufunmilayo Aminu


This research arises from the need that conscious effort and attention is needed to curb the negative effects of corruption on socio-economic transformation of the nation and that exploiting the media to expose corrupt practices in sectors of the nation’s economy is the best way in shaping public opinions on the menace of corruption. This study used content analysis to determine the Newspaper coverage of corruption news in the major sectors of the Nigeria economy over a period of 5 years (2006 - 2010). A multi-stage sampling technique was used to select three newspapers namely Tribune, The Nation and Guardian; and a total of nine hundred and thirteen (913) corruption articles generated from the 540 issues were analysed in this study. Data were collected on frequency of coverage, categories of items/stories, prominence, space allotment and depth of treatment of articles on corruption. Descriptive statistics such as frequencies, percentages and means was used to summarise the data collected. Findings revealed that frequency of coverage of corruption articles in year 2010 carries the highest percentage of 23.7% while the Nigerian Tribune ranked first on the coverage of corruption articles with a total number of 381 (41.7%) articles. Overall, prominence was given to inside page articles (87.4%) in all the three newspapers, however, the Guardian newspaper, reported the highest in the front page having 41.7%. Majority (76.7%) of the corruption articles fell in the news category with the Nigerian Tribune having 42.4%. More than half (56.8%) of space allotted to corruption articles is one-quarter page while the Nigeria Tribune recorded highest (61.4%) space allotment of full page. The politics/governance sector ranked first with a total of 522 news items accounting for 57.2% of the whole corruption stories while agriculture, transport and energy sectors occupied the lower rung of the ladder. Also, politics/governance sector had the highest level of prominence with score of 654. Study concluded that Politics/Governance, Service oriented (i.e. telecommunications and banks), and sports sectors are perceived to be more corrupt sectors in Nigeria.

Keywords: Corruption news, newspapers, coverage, Nigerian sectors.

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