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AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE MENACE OF KIDNAPPING IN NIGERIA AND THE REPORT EFFECTIVENESS OF THE PRESS (A CASE STUDY OF THE PUNCH AND GUARDIAN NEWSPAPERS)

1.1    STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Security of lives and property is one of the issues that attracts the attention of both the masses and government of a given society indeed, any breach of security whether in the form of kidnapping, abduction, bomb explosion and so on, which could result in physical injury against a victim, destruction of properties or loss of human lives is usually least appreciated by most peace loving individuals, groups and governments alike. Yet, it appears that a breach of security in Nigeria particularly kidnapping, is becoming more rampant than ever before in recent years.
One would reason that the mass media which has a social responsibility to provide the public with adequate information about certain incidents in the society, could have paid greater attention to issues bordering on kidnapping and inform the public accordingly.
While the broadcast media may not have assigned more air-time to such issues because of too many other programmes, it is assumed that magazine reports on those issues may not have been adequately given the periodic nature of magazine.
It therefore becomes pertinent to ask the basic question: to what extend did Nigerian newspapers report kidnapping in the country between 2011 and 2012?

1.2    OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
This study had the following objectives:
1.      To determine the frequency with which kidnapping is covered in the selected Nigerian newspapers.
2.      To determine the prominence given to the reporting of kidnapping in the selected Nigerian Newspapers.
3.      To determine the depth of coverage given to kidnapping in the selected Nigerian Newspapers.
4.      To determine the direction of reportage of kidnapping stories in Nigerian Newspapers, the Punch and the Guardian.

1.3    RESEARCH QUESTIONS
This study intends to find answers to the following research questions:
1.      What is the covered in the selected Nigerian Newspapers?
2.      What is the prominence given to the reporting of kidnapping in the selected Nigerian Newspapers?
3.      What is the depth of coverage given to kidnapping in the selected Nigerian Newspapers?
4.      What is the direction of reportage of kidnapping stories in Nigerian newspapers, The Punch and the Guardian?

1.4    SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Journalists are saddled with the responsibility of reporting the activities of people to their audience. Pressmen, as the purveyor of information, endeavours to report events accurately as they unfold. By so doing, members of the audience (readers) are made to know about the happenings in the society (Uwah, 2006, P. 9).
Having said that, this work will provide useful information to government and security agencies in all the three tiers of government in Nigeria in evaluating the security situation in the country during the year and so as to know what security measures to adopt in future.
The work will also serve as information material to the Federal ministry of information in obtaining adequate data on the state of kidnapping in Nigeria, so as to better inform the public as the case may be.
Still, this study will reveal how the two Nigerian Newspapers- the Punch and the Guardian fared in their reportage of kidnapping, if compared to other mass media.
Finally, this work serves as reference material to libraries, researchers and the general public.

1.5    DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY

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