Charles Chukwuma Eze


The study examined newspaper coverage of the Ebola Virus outbreak in Nigeria from July 20 to October 20, 2014 which was the date the EVD outbreak lasted, before the World Health Organization declared Nigeria free. The content analysis design was utilized as the research design in analyzing two national newspapers; The Guardian and the Vanguard to ascertain the frequency of coverage, the level of prominence and the nature of stories covered on the EVD outbreak in Nigeria by the newspapers. Findings from the study reveal that the rate of coverage of the Ebola Virus outbreak by the press was low as the news contents on non – Ebola virus issues were reported about seven times more often than the EVD issues within the period of the outbreak in Nigeria. The level of prominence accorded news contents on the EVD was on the average; and sufficient interpretations and in – depth analyses were not adequately carried by the columnists to sensitize the readers on the EVD outbreak within the period it lasted. It is therefore recommended that the Nigerian Press Organization should develop an editorial policy that would make it binding on different newspaper editorial boards to channel their agenda setting roles in championing massive health campaigns and advocacy that would be targeted towards educating their readers on the containment of imminent diseases such as EVD when such occur.

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