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Comparative Analysis of Anti-corruption Reporting by Daily Trust and the Nation Newspapers in the First and Second Tenure of Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari Government

Isiaka Aliagan, Abdulkadir Yahaya, Kamaldin Babatunde

Abstract: Studies on corruption coverage by newspapers in Nigeria during the Buhari administration focused on broad corruption issues, his first tenure, and almost zero studies on anti-corruption during his ongoing second tenure to lapse in 2023. This study aims to examine anti-corruption reporting by two Nigerian newspapers, Daily Trust and The Nation, within the first and second tenures of the Buhari administration. The study content-analyzed 475 editorial contents covering the first year in each of the first and second tenures (2015/2016 and 2019/2020). Findings revealed that The Nation reported more stories on anti-corruption than the Daily Trust in both the first and second tenures. However, both newspapers recorded a significant drop in corruption coverage in the second tenure. News stories took the lead in the first and second tenures, with 72.4% and 84.4%, respectively. The study found that both newspapers published more front and back page contents in the first tenure than in the second tenure, but published less front and back page reports on corruption compared to reports on the inside pages during the period of study. The newspapers also published more stories, measuring more than 100 lines during the second tenure than the first. In contrast, more uncritical reports of anti-corruption were published in the first tenure than in the second by the two. The study concluded that poor investigative journalism drive, among other factors, was responsible for the decline in corruption reports, especially during the 2019/2020 period. It recommends that newspapers strive not to allow ethno-religious interests to influence editorial responses on corruption and increase their investigative journalism drive to win the corruption war in the country.
Keywords: second tenure / newspapers / Anti corruption Reporting / page

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