Background of the study
Domestic and sexual violence are shown in the media in such a way that the public understands the concerns and relevant authorities design methods to advocate for victims (Creswell 2012). According to research, the media tends to give its viewers with basic, insufficient, and misleading depictions of the scope and character of violence against women (Gillespie et al., 2013). Many studies have focused on how domestic violence is portrayed in print and broadcast media (Nzuma,2015). The larger context, which includes the institutional, cultural, and practical components of media activity as variables affecting coverage, receives less emphasis (Meyers, 1997). Problematic media portrayal of gender violence and murder in Ireland has been the topic of current discussion and controversy in the context of a particular occurrence of family homicide. However, there is little study on journalists’ personal perceptions on their professionally socialized covering strategy. Reportage on domestic violence typically reflects cultural constructs and ambivalence regarding violence against women, according to media depictions of domestic abuse (Nzuma,2015). The lack of societal context, sensationalism, misinformation, victim blaming, and the deletion of victim’s voices are five typical characteristics in domestic violence reportage (Sutherland et al., 2016). Media stories, according to Sutherland et al. (2016), are event-based and use ‘episodic framing,’ which focuses largely on individuals’ discrete episodes or events, with individual happenings of unique but unexpected importance to journalists. As a result, there is a tendency to overlook the larger societal context in which violence against women occurs. Intimate partner violence and familial murder, for example, may be described as a single family tragedy or as the result of sporadic aberrations in an otherwise harmonious family structure. The focus on the unusual and unique elements of certain episodes prevents consideration of domestic violence as a wider societal issue (Uzoma., 2017). Domestic violence is constructed in ways that fail to identify its origins in larger gender-based power inequities by focusing on the allegedly aberrant character of these activities. According to Ishola (2016), the failure to disclose intimate partner violence as a social problem is connected to a cultural acceptance of gender violence as a private affair that should not be addressed by the government. Because journalists are constrained by wider ideologies molding media organizations that strive to “reflect, reinforce, and justify attitudes that value males over women,” domestic abuse may be undetected entirely or merely partly. The stories that acquire the greatest momentum in the media are those that concentrate on the most severe types of physical violence committed against women, rather than those that focus on the most prevalent forms of violence done against women (Sutherland et al., 2016). While certain information are given or highlighted, others are left out. The media has a significant role to play in reflecting, influencing, and questioning public opinion on gender-based violence’ via the use of certain words, metaphors, pictures, and catchphrases (Ezeji, 2004).
Statement of the problem
The media’s participation in the problem of domestic violence is critical, since capturing and communicating the proper message to the public will ultimately decide whether the message elicits the desired response and reaction from the public (Mwai,2016). Through good reporting and framing, the media may be a powerful instrument in supporting both the government and non-governmental groups in raising awareness and developing programs to battle the threat. However, the pattern of reporting remains an issue since the media has been accused of covering domestic violence in a manner that makes it appear like a second attack, due to their carelessness in utilizing images, names, and other invasions of privacy (Okoro,2013). Domestic abuse has infiltrated Nigerian culture like a cankerworm. These tales are widely shared on social and conventional media platforms. Domestic violence statistics in Nigeria are so alarming that scarcely a week goes by without the media reporting at least one occurrence of domestic abuse. Nonetheless, because of fear, humiliation, or stigmatization, victims of domestic abuse find it difficult to speak out in a timely manner. This is inevitably harmful; as a result, many domestic abuse victims who choose to stay in violent marriages or relationships have died as a result of their silence. According to Watts and Zimmermann (2002) cited in Adebayo (2014), who think that under reporting of domestic violence is nearly ubiquitous and may be owing to the sensitive nature of the matter, this silence is widespread. Domestic violence has often been covered in the media in a shallow, opportunistic, and devoid of meaningful study of its prevalence. As a result, the purpose of this research was to look at the role of newspapers in reporting domestic violence in Imo State.
Objective of the study
The primary objective of the study is as follows
1) To evaluate the supposed causes for newspaper reportage of domestic violence in Imo state.
2) To examine the effect of newspaper reportage of domestic violence in Imo state.
3) To find out whether newspapers give adequate reportage to the rising domestic violence in Imo state.
4) To examine how newspaper reportage of domestic violence can be improved in Imo state.
The following questions have been prepared for the study
1. What is the supposed causes for newspaper reportage of domestic violence in Imo state?
2. What is the effect of newspaper reportage of domestic violence in Imo state?
3. Do newspapers give adequate reportage to the rising domestic violence in Imo state?
4. How can newspaper reportage of domestic violence can be improved in Imo state?
Significance of the study
This study examines newspaper reportage of domestic violence in Imo state. Hence the study will be of benefit to the Imo state government as they will look into creating laws that will protect victims of domestic violence.
This study will be of benefit to the national broadcasting commission on how to create awareness for domestic violence.
This study will be significant to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature.
Scope of the study
This study will evaluate the supposed causes for newspaper reportage of domestic violence in Imo state. This study will also examine the effect of newspaper reportage of domestic violence in Imo state. The study will further find out whether newspapers give adequate reportage to the rising domestic violence in Imo state. Lastly, the study will examine how newspaper reportage of domestic violence can be improved in Imo state. Hence the study will be delimited vanguard newspaper.
Limitation of the study
This study was constrained by a number of factors which are as follows:
just like any other research, ranging from unavailability of needed accurate materials on the topic under study, inability to get data
Financial constraint , was faced by the researcher ,in getting relevant materials and in printing and collation of questionnaires
Time factor: time factor pose another constraint since having to shuttle between writing of the research and also engaging in other academic work making it uneasy for the researcher
Definition of terms
Newspaper: a printed publication (usually issued daily or weekly) consisting of folded unstapled sheets and containing news, articles, advertisements, and correspondence
Domestic violence: violent or aggressive behaviour within the home, typically involving the violent abuse of a spouse or partner.