AUTHOR: EZE CHARLES CHUKWUMA
DEPARTMENT: MASS COMMUNICATION
AFFILIATION: NNAMDI AZIKIWE UNIVERSITY, AWKA
The study examined the coverage of the 2007 presidential Nigerian Press Coverage of 2007 Presidential Election Campaigns by the Nigerian press. The major purpose of the study was to analytically assess the performance of the press in the 2007 presidential election campaigns through an appraisal of the news contents of three randomly selected national newspapers: Daily Independent, Guardian and Vanguard. Using Agenda setting as the theoretical framework and the content analytical research method as the main instrument of data generation, the study found out that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, got the highest coverage of election campaigns in the press, with more than one-third of the entire news stories covered on her. The same party, PDP, got the most favourable news stories from the press as more than one-third of the entire favourable news stories were on the party. Of the 25 parties that featured presidential candidates during campaigns, only five parties: PDP, AC, ANPP, AD and PPA got prominent news headlines in the front pages of the Nigerian press during the campaign period. This showed clearly that the political campaigns of some other parties were neglected by the press which was a clear breach from the provision of the 2006 electoral law that gave equal press access to all participating political parties during election campaigns. It was therefore recommended that the Nigerian Press Council should rise to the occasion by nipping in the bud, the flagrant disregard of the provisions of the electoral law on equal press access to the political parties during election campaign by their members.
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Tags: Agenda Setting Theory, Campaign Issues, Election Campaign, Favourable News Stories, Front Page Stories, Inside Page Stories, Mass Communication Thesis, Mass Media, Miscellaneous Issues, Neutral News Stories, New Story, Newspaper, Newspaper Content, Political Issues, print media, Unfavourable News Stories