Newspaper Framing of Incumbent President and Challenger in Nigeria’s 2015 Presidential Election

Michael O. Ukonu, Ijeoma D. Ajaero

Abstract


As elections draw near, citizens look up to the media for information about contestants. This study examines the coverage, by four dominant newspapers, of an incumbent President and his challenger in the 2015 presidential election in Nigeria, to determine how the news was constructed and the framing patterns in their reports. Using the continuous week formula, 28 editions spread over four months were studied. Results show that there were 110 articles on the 2015 election that captured a total of 245 frames. The history frame was dominant, followed by national security and corruption. The findings also show that the 2015 presidential elections were adequately reported by the media but contents focused more on the candidates than on issues. This study recommends that the issues raised by contestants in their manifestos could be appropriated by the media to expand their discussion on matters affecting the citizens rather than the personality of the contestants.


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