The Effects of Framing on Oil Pollution as Covered by Print Media: A Case Study of Nigerian Newspapers
Incidents of oil pollution has become a reoccurring decimal over the last twenty decades in most countries of the world. The controversy over who is responsible for the massive oil pollution witnessed in some oil-producing countries globally has amplified tensions between significant stakeholders in those countries. The issue of oil pollution in Nigeria and Ghana, for instance, has caused ecosystem degradation, the devastation of means of livelihood of local communities, and the death of aquatic organisms such as fish. Our study investigated the effects of the five news frames identified by Semetko & Valkenburg (2000); responsibility, economic consequences, conflict, human interest, and morality. Through content analysis, our study analyzed 531 newspaper stories on oil pollution in Nigeria’s Niger-Delta region from 2014-2018. The results indicated that overall, the effects of the human interest frame usage were more prevalent in The Daily Sun newspaper than the other two papers, The Guardian and The Punch, within the study period. This was followed by economic consequences, responsibility, conflict, and morality frames. Also, the study revealed that the effects of the differences in the frequency of using the frames in the coverage of oil pollution in the three selected papers varied significantly.
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