The Monkey Pox Virus and the Inherent Danger in Rumour Mongering: Focus On Nigeria Print Media Reportage of the Crisis (Published)
The prerogative of this exercise is the reportage of the monkey box virus by Nigerian print media. In spite of the horrendous deaths and turbulence imposed on Nigerians by the dreaded Ebola plague in the later part of 2014, Nigerians now face another grim pestilence; the monkey pox virus. This study is adopting the qualitative approach and secondary sources of newspaper publications as relevant literature. This inquiry derives its theoretical foundation from the agenda setting perspective. In spite of alarming rumours of forced vaccinations on school children, the study through relevant newspaper publications reveals the Nigerian print media, transcending through ethnic, religious and cultural barriers, conducted a high degree of coverage to create public awareness of the virus. The paper recommends synergy between the government and the media to create public awareness against the dread of monkey pox. This is appropriate antidote to galvanise standardized template in creating public awareness of communicable diseases. As sensitization by the Nigerian media was crucial in the demise of the 2014 Ebola crisis, the media, particularly newspapers have excelled in creating overwhelming public awareness and sanitation procedure to contain the monkey pox virus incursion into the Nigeria.
This paper is a discourse on the mass media with reference to the observance of the timeliness criterion in the reportage of news. It was argued that for news (especially hard news) to make the desired impact, timeliness is a core demand. It is a yardstick amongst others, which is always employed to assess the worthiness of an event. It also contended that the broadcast media (radio and television) have effectively fulfilled the demand of this criterion better than the print media (newspaper and magazine). This is as a result of the nature of the broadcast media and the emergence of modern broadcasting technologies which have helped to enhance immediacy in the reportage of events. It further argues that much as the broadcast media have been acclaimed to be very timely in their account of events in Nigeria, the privately owned broadcast media have been adjudged to be timelier than government owned broadcast stations. This is based on a number of factors including the availability of modern equipment as well as well trained and motivated journalists. It was concluded that there was a fundamental need for the mass media (both private and government owned) to observe this criterion in virtually all their reports to attract the attention of the audience.
This paper observes that most discourses in a multilingual setting tend to be ideologically based. Using the multi-ethnic Nigerian situation as reference point, the study explores the ideological nature of reportage in selected newspaper headlines with a view to examining how the structures of media discourse are influenced by the structures of ideologies. The Triangulated Discourse Analytical Approach of Teun Van Dijk was adapted as the theoretical framework for the study. Twenty headlines, characterized by social properties of ideologies such as activity, perspective, rhetorical form, goal, resource and so on are purposively selected from five different Nigerian newspapers, formed the data which were content-analyzed. The surface structure of the newspaper headlines contained ideologies and belief system of the writers which were not overtly expressed but located in the linguistic expressions that characterized the selected newspaper headlines. The nature of language in the newspaper headlines indicate that the writers conceal their opinions in linguistic forms in order to create persuasion for ideological support.