NEWSPAPER COVERAGE OF DRUG ABUSE IN NIGERIA
(A CASE STUDY THREE SELECTED NEWS PAPERS)
Drug abuse has since been recognized as global problem that bother every country in the world today. Different nations across the world including Nigerians abuse the use of drugs and large percentage of these users are our youth in various institution of learning. A drug has been define as any substances that when aborted into a living organism may modify one or more of its physiological functions (Croen, Woener, Harm and Reichgott 1997). The term is generally used in reference to a substance taken for therapeutic purpose and as abused substances (Kwamanga, Hiombo and Amukoye, 2003).
United states of America (USA) study further revealed that excessive illicit drug use rate among high school students and young adults increase with age with a prevalence rate 19.60/0 between the age of 18-20 years as indicated in Kwananga, etal (2003). A quotation from the (substance Abuse and mental Health service Administration (SAMHSA) 1997 in the USA.
According to the United Nation Officer on Drugs and Crime (UNODC-Wito,2005 world Drug Report, 2005), some 200million people or 50/0 of the total world’s population age between 1.5 and 64 years have used drugs.
The report further says that no nation has been immune to the devastating effects of the drug abuse. The officer of the national agency for the campaign against drug abuse (NACACA, 2004B) commissioned the first ever national baseline survey on the abuse of alcohol and other drugs in Kenya in 2001. The study targeted Kenyan youth aged between 10-24 years. The report which was released in 2002 revealed that substances abuse, both illicit and licit was forming a culture amongst Kenyan youth. Drug abuse among the youth especially in secondary schools has endangered their lives and this has caused a lot concern as the vice indeed has been identified as major causes of problems experienced in secondary schools in Kenyan (Gikonyo, 2005). The United Nations international drug control programme (world drug report 2000) ranked Kenya among the four African nations notorious for either consumption or manufacture of narcotics in the world.
In Nigerian studies have consistently shown that there is considerable prevalence of drugs and substances use, with varying prevalence rate found for both overall and specific drugs and substances abuse (Abdulkarim, Mokuolu and Adeniyi, 2005). According to Adelekan,Makanjuola, Nelom, fayeye and Amusan (2005) student may start using illegal drugs because the drugs are available from their schools. School related factors can also influence students to drug use (Ngesuetal, 2008) how the school administration manages student affairs may led to drug abuse. Prevalence of drug use and abuse are therefore major public health problem in the young adults, especially among the secondary school students.
Previous studies show that more than a fifth (22.7%) of primary school children takes alcohol, and also a figure that rises to more than three-quates (68%) of students at the university or other tertiary learning institution in Kenya take alcohol (siririgi and waihenaya 2001);ngesuetal (2008) Otieno and Offulla (2009). Therefore, a large number of students across all age groups have been exposed to alcohol, tobacco, miraa, glues sniffing, marijuana and even hard drugs such as heroin and cocaine.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE RESEARCH
Most media campaigns focused on college, students drinking which have been campus based, using a mix of posters, flyers, electronic mail messages and college newspaper advertisements. More recently, a few regional, state and national media campaigns have begun to address this issue as well.
Therefore, this study is out to make a study on three selected newspaper on their coverage against drug abuse.
THE VIOCE NEWSPAPER
The Benue printing and publishing corporation publisher of the voice and Sunday voice newspaper emerged from the defined Benue –plateau printing and publishing corporation and the government printing department.
The Benue state executive council had its conclusion dabet march 3,1977 approved the establishment of the corporation, the establishment was made by the amendment of the Benue plateau printing and publishing corporation edict no 6 of 1972 to the Benue state edict no 1 of 1976.
The responsibility of corporation was to operate news and feature service to encourage good administration, effective promotion and commitment to the interest of Benue people to defend the state its government and its indigenes scurrilous attack from any quarter.
To give publicity to and encourage the art and industries of the state to serve as a forum for a meeting of the mind and exchange of ideas between government and the people, finally to uphold the secularity of the entire nation, the industry engages in the publication of Sunday voice, weekend express, and voice sport apart from the daily edition of the voice and commercial jobs being carry out, the page of now the voice was increased from eight to sixteen and column from four-six while the Sunday voice weekend express and voice sport all published weekly maintain the same pages and column respectively.
At the time of the research the industry publishes only the voice and Sunday voice edition, other are off the newsstand plans were put in place as early as AUGUST 1,1985 to change the status of the corporation to thus of a limited liability company, in 1992 the REV Fr MOSES ADASU administration actualized this dream, however the company never assumed that status and march 14, 1992the company was closed down because the operation of the company was at a loss, staff were retrenched in the process while other were on compulsory leave and yet other willingly resigned their appointment ironically, the edition of the voice newspaper was of the newsstand in march 1995 and reappeared in December, 1996 the daily edition is now published on Wednesday and Friday –weekly while the Sunday voice is published on Sunday the voice have super lithographic until, modern computer section an equipped art studies web and modern printing machine with colour facilities it has also edition and department , which serve as nerve center of the industry or organization other include administration commercial, technical and financial .
Staff strength of the organization is not static at contain period ,they had on heir pay roll 120 staff at other 100.
THE PAVILION NEWSPAPER.
The pavilion newspaper is a privately owned newspaper industry it made its debit in February 1997 having two directors and nine staff with a staff of strength of nine the aimed and objectives of the company is to promote developmental, marketing and production .
The pavilion newspaper is published forth nighty in 16pages and serve column respectively with about 1,00 copies forth nighty, Benue, Taraba, and Nasarawa states are the intended target audience of the young newspaper distribution of the newspaper is done through commercial vehicles it has three freelances and no outsider on its edition board.
The company is currently carrying its printing jobs which include commercial jobs on contract basis to private printer this is to say that the company is yet to acquire its own printing machine it has.
THE TIGONS NEWSPAPER
The Tigons newspaper was conceived and established in 1994 with its first edition on the newsstand on the 25th November 1996, the aim of the newspaper are to publish textbook, poster handbill, post card, gathering and dissemination of news particularly on people of middle best of Nigeria
The newspaper is funded through the solar of product loans and personal saving they are 16 staff all in editorial with each performing assigned function there are three major department including administration, marketing and editorial
As a private newspaper industry, the autonomous power is conferred and enjoyed by the management, they Tigons newspaper is published forth nighty with its first edition in 2 pages in magazine size and subsequent copies on broad sheet size which is in four pages and two column a total of about 1,00 copies are published forth nighty and are sold in Benue Taraba and Nasarawa state including Abuja no outside on its editorial board and freelance come and go on vehicles the company has no vehicle to circulate and distribute its publication similarly production is connected out to private print in the town.
1.2 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEM
The continuous abuse of drugs lead the researcher to embark on this study, so as to evaluate the extent at which the newspaper media is going about the incidence of drug abuse in the country, their coverage concerning drug abuse and drug addiction.The effects of drug abuse is detrimental not only to the individual but to the society as a whole. Yet this problem is on the increase especially among those in higher institution of learning. Which is a serious threat to our national sanctity. How well can print media as a vehicle for information dissemination be relied upon to perform its role in the society, to join hand in the battle against drug abuse?
Drug abuse menace has strangle youthful population reducing them to dummies zombies and drooling figure as well as wasting their lives at the age which they are most needed in the society (Ngesu, Ndiku and Masese dangers 2008) Despite the worldwide concern and education about the of drug abuse most of the citizen have limited knowledge of how dangerous the habit is (Ngesuetal 2008).
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The focal objective of this research work is to examine and evaluate the coverage of the newspaper against drug abuse and analysis its impact it has create.
To examine whether newspapers educate and enlighten the general public on drug abuse?
To know if newspapers awareness campaign on drug abuse have reduced the unlawful use of drug in our society?
To know the extent at which the media – newspaper have gone to, in educating and their coverage on drug abuse?
To know if newspapers contribute to drug abuse through advertisement and alcohol promo or not
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study has important contribution to make in the education of drug abuse among our youths and society in general.
The government and other agencies of education will find this study useful in directing their efforts towards the identified factors with the view of controlling drug abuse among the people of our nation. It will help schools; guidance counselors to identify cases of drug abuse, the associated problem and treatment to be applied.
Government through the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) will benefit from the study to know the harmful effect of media drama showing lots of drinking and alcoholic programme, advert and marking on print media to the society.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTION
The researcher formed some research question which the research work will answer and address in the course of this study.
Do the newspaper educate and enlighten the general public on drug abuse?
Has mass media awareness campaign on drug abuse reduced the unlawful use of drug in society?
Does newspaper promote drug abuse through advertisement and alcohol promo?
Does newspaper educate and enlighten the general public on the bad effects of drug abuse?
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
Because of time, geographical locations, fund and other necessary logistics, the study is narrowed down to Benue State and the three selected newspaper as its case study since it is very difficult if not impossible to study all the newspaper production company in the state and across the state.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Wide research of this nature cannot be carried out without some constraints, this constraints pose a lot of limitations to this work.
• Duration for the research work is relatively short.
• Stress emanated from other academic activities is also another constraints.
• Little materials are also available because the work is relatively new.
• Financial constrain poses another challenges.
• Most information is gathered through newspapers and internet.
1.8 Definition of terms
Role: It is a function or contribution of print media in curbing abuse of drug in society.
Newspaper: It a periodical publication for dissemination of information against drug abuse.
Drug: It refers to different forms of tables in liquid and capsules or substances like cocaine, india-hemp e.t.c use for treatment of illness and related body problems.
Drug Abuse: Is means when people use drugs or substances either liquid, tablet, injection or inhale it in amount or with methods neither approved or nor supervise by medical professionals e. t. c
Codeine- An alkaloid of opium. It has mild analgesic properties, and is often combine with aspirin. Valuable as cough sedative (linctus codcine) in dry and useless cough.
Alkaloid- Resembling an alkali. A name often applied to a large group of organic basses found in plants and which posses important physiological actions. Morphine, quinine, caffeine, atropine and strychnine are well known examples of alkaloids.
Dejong, W. (2000): Relapse Prevention: An Emerging Technology for Promoting long-term Drug Abstinence. London: Fulf Press
James, K. (2004). High-Risk Drinking among College Students. Massachusetts: Boston University.
Wikipedia (2014). Drug Abuse. Retrieved from http://wikepedia.com/ drug- abuse/ on 2/05/2014
Montgomery, K. (2009). Abuse of Drug among Students.UK: CCT Press.