Press coverage of climate change issues in Nigeria and implications for public participation opportunities
Nigeria faces a lot of environmental problems such as extensive gas flaring, deforestation, and desertification with serious consequences on climate change. How are these issues covered and framed by Nigerian newspapers? Content analysis of systematically sampled, 438 issues from 4380 issues of four purposively selected dailies between 2007 and 2009 shows dominance of climate politics/economics issues (61.2%), foreign sourcing of reports (63.4%), straight news formatting of reports (83.6%) and framing in terms of mitigation (55.2%). Mitigation efforts aim to reduce or prevent emission of greenhouse gases implicated in climate change. We conclude that coverage and framing constrain opportunities for popular participation in climate change discourse. To improve the situation, Nigerian newspapers should broaden the scope of climate change coverage and framing, widen local sourcing of reports, diversify the formats of reporting, and frame the issues more in the mould of adaptation (activities and measures to reduce risks posed by climatic changes) to boost involvement of people in climate change discourse through monitorial, supportive and collaborative strategy in agenda setting agenda.