Sources of Information as an Essential Correlate in Agricultural News Reportage in Nigerian Dailies

Fakayode Olakunle


The impact of the print media in agricultural development has been the focal point in the recent times and has received considerable awareness from researchers, planners, politicians and media practitioners of developing countries especially Nigeria. The underlying factors responsible for ways the print media projects agricultural news and the sources responsible for the information are diverse.  Sources of information in news reporting are a pedestal on which print media stand. The individual and public perception and attitudes towards societal issues are a function of knowledge based on available information and it significant that, print media make use of experts who are well grounded in their various fields, to comment or serve as sources for the agricultural and agro-allied news.It is on this view that the study was carried out to investigate the importance attached to the sources used by journalists in reporting agricultural news. The selected Nigerian daily newspapers were the Nigeria Tribune, Punch, the Guardian and Vanguard. The time frames of the study were between January 1st 2000 to December 31st 2004 and this covered five years.  The reason for this is that, the Nigeria agricultural sector was just coming under a new republic and the study equally showed the level of coverage giving to development of agriculture. The content analysis performed on the 128 editions of newspapers revealed that, there is significant difference in the sources used by journalists in reporting agricultural and agro-allied news (The chi-square value is 33.23, P value is 0.0001 when P≤ 0.05). The study also revealed that, there is significant difference in the relevance of areas of specialization of the sources and the topics commented upon (Chi –square value is 29.50, P = 0.0189 when P≤ 0.05). Recommendations have been articulated to enable the newspaper play its expected facilitating role in furtherance of agricultural and rural development of Nigeria, in general.

Keywords: Agricultural news; The Tribune newspaper; The Guardian, The Punch, The Vanguard: Reportage; The Experts

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3267 ISSN (Online)2224-3275

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