LOCAL NEWSPAPERS’ COVERAGE OF CHILD RIGHTS MATTERS Mass Communicatio…

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INTRODUCTION

This study analysed local newspapers’ coverage of child rights matters in Akwa Ibom State. The specific objectives of the study include to: determine the frequency of coverage of child rights matters by local newspapers in Akwa Ibom; ascertain the prominence of the child rights stories published by the select local newspapers; determine the depth of child rights matters published in the select local newspapers; and determine the direction of the child rights stories published in local newspapers in Akwa Ibom State. Affixed on Agenda-Setting Theory and Social Responsibility Theory of communication, the study adopted the content analysis research method. The population of the study was 182 editions of The Pioneer, The Informer and The Nigerian Pulse newspaper published within the time frame of the study, July to December, 2017. The units of analysis included straight news stories, features, editorials and opinions. The findings of the study are as follows: there was high frequency of coverage given to child rights matters in Akwa Ibom State by local newspapers; child rights stories were published more on the inside and pages of the local newspapers in Akwa Ibom State; there is shallow depth in the report of child rights matters by local newspapers in Akwa Ibom State; most media reports of child rights were neutral/unfavourable and the aspect of child rights covered most was ones related to good and accessible health care and other forms of care. Based on the findings from the study, the researcher recommended that Editorial boards of the local newspapers should endeavour to publish more child rights stories on the cover and back pages of their newspapers as these tend to be the first pages people look at when they pick up a newspaper.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1         Background to the Study

 Every human being living in anywhere in the world, have some rights which are inalienable. Most of these rights are bestowed upon them from the moment they are given birth to by their mothers. These rights are generally referred to as human rights and are not to be trampled upon except or infringed on except in cases where the individual has transgressed the perimeters of freedom which these rights allow him/her.

 UNICEF (2007) defines human rights as rights that are inherent, universal rights of human beings regardless of location or other factors, such as ethnicity, religion, nationality or gender. They continue to provide parameters which define what human right is or should be. Thus, it writes:  

Human rights are those basic standards without which people cannot live in dignity. Human rights are held by all persons equally, universally and forever. Human rights are inalienable:you cannot lose these rights any more than you can cease being a human being. Human rights are indivisible:you cannot be denied a right because it is less important or non-essential. Human rights are interdependent:all human rights are part of a complementary framework. For example, your ability to participate in your government is directly affected by your right to express yourself, to get an education, and even to obtain the necessities of life (UNICEF, 2007, p. 8).

 The above from a United Nation’s document, points to the fundamentality of the rights of human beings all over the world. It does not matter if that human is a child (boy/ girl) or an adult (man/woman).


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