Preliminary Assessment of Newspaper Coverage of Agricultural News in Delta State: A Case Study of the Pointer Newspaper in Delta State, Asaba, Nigeria

Ovwigho B. O., Orogun P.


The obvious advantage of the newspaper over other methods of disseminating agricultural technologies and information necessitated this exploratory study. The broad objective of the study was to investigate the extent of agricultural news coverage by the pointer newspaper in 2009. The specific objectives were to: ascertain the column inches (space) given to major categories of news by the pointer newspaper in 2009; examine the percentage column inches (space) given to each category of agricultural news by the pointer newspapers in 2009; and. determine the relationship between column inches (space) given to agricultural and other categories of news covered by the pointer newspaper in 2009. Secondary data were obtained from the pointer newspaper main office at Asaba in 2010 for the study. Eight (8) broad categories of news and seven (7) categories of agricultural news were assessed. The column inches for each category of news were measured for each month by use of a measuring tape. It was found that sports were allocated the highest number of column inches with percentage and mean values of 25.61% and 2010.35 respectively. This was followed by politics (21.43%; M= 1682.18), religion (11.49%, M= 901.77), foreign news (10.08%, M= 791.63), business (9.63%, M= 760.35), entertainment (9.26%, M= 727.07), education (8.86%, M= 695.47) and agriculture (3.59%, M= 282.03). Agriculture was the least category of news covered by the pointer news paper. Poultry news (26.43%) was the most frequently reported among the categories of agricultural news in 2009. This was followed by forestry and wild life (11.52%), commentaries (10.96%), fisheries (9.90%), and agronomy (7.17%). It was found that agriculture news were the least covered by the pointer newspaper in 2009 in spite of the importance of agriculture under the present civilian government. The Pointer newspaper should devote more spaces to agricultural news in order to enhance dissemination of agricultural information to farmers in the state.

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Sustainable Agriculture Research   ISSN 1927-050X (Print)   ISSN 1927-0518 (Online)

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