4 Critical Questions From a University Don on Nigerian Media Coverage of Bad News Versus Good News

4 Critical Questions From a University Don on Nigerian Media Coverage of Bad News Versus Good News

In the last few days, our analyst has been reporting a number of insights relating to the Nigerian media industry. The focus has been on how to have improved processes and better products as information pollution rages across the digital and physical spaces. 

While engaging his followers on social media platforms, our analyst notes that “In seconds. In minutes. In hours. In days. In months. In years. Nigerians wake up and confronted with bad news than good news from the media. On digital and offline spaces, bad news reports are debated more than good news. No matter what, there are a lot of opportunities in the bad news, which individuals and businesses can explore.”

The post was aimed at informing people that business opportunities abound in the bad news being reported by the media. This intent is not quite different from his position in an article published three years ago titled “How to turn Nigeria’s biggest problems to biggest businesses.”

From one of his social media accounts, a University Don queried his views on bad news versus good news publications. While commenting on the post, the University Don asked four critical questions.  “So, journalists deliberately create bad news or bad news happen? When bad things happen, they should not be reported? How can you successfully separate news reporting in Nigeria from existential challenges? How do you want the media to report happenings in the country? They should lie?”

Our analyst has promised to get back to the lecturer in due course with data and analyses that support his [our analyst] position that Nigerian journalists and media owners, especially the mainstream media entrepreneurs, should focus more on development news publication more than conflict and crisis driven news. According to our analyst, constant coverage of conflicts, crises and other bad happenings without regard for ethical journalism, social responsibility and developmental principles have created disunity and unnecessary self-independence agitation by various ethnic groups. 

A Crisis Scene

“Of course, bad events need to be reported since it sells more than good events. And that many people want to read negativities more than positivities. But, there are ways of constructing headlines and framing content towards sustainable peace and unity not enduring conflicts and crises,” our analyst points out. 

Before data driven answers to the lecturer’s question, our analyst’s check indicates that a few hours after his post, one of the national newspapers reported “…policymakers and media managers accused the Nigerian media of of allowing its obsession for bad news and screaming headlines to obstruct the principal mandate of setting the right agenda toward building a united and virile nation.”

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