Media, gender protection and disaster risk reduction in the Lagos mega city: Content analysis of news agency of Nigeria (NAN) reportage of flood
There are numerous man-made and nature induced disasters besetting mega cities that affect gender protection in both private humanitarian and public mitigation projects. Climate change or man-made induced flood is one of such disasters overwhelming especially coastal mega cities and destroying such gendered societies. Its recurrence, scale of destruction and attendant problems have forced stakeholders to agree that reducing its risk factors to every gender class through pre-disaster mitigation activities is the best approach to curb this hazardous disaster. Media is one of the critical stakeholders whose activities can help to curtail the negative effect of flood and advance gendered empowerment against flood, hence its ever important role as risk reduction facilitator. As a crucial stakeholder and agent of development, the media inform, educate, mobilize, forecast and play other roles aimed at helping gendered society and governments cope with flooding. This paper examines the role being played by the media in flood risk reduction in a mega city like Lagos. Specifically, it examines the role of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in creating pre-flood mitigation awareness and disseminating information about flood in the Lagos mega city. NAN is one of the leading news agencies in the world. It sells stories to numerous subscribers within and outside Nigeria. To achieve this paper’s objectives, content analysis of NAN reports sent out to subscribers between 2014 and 2017 were analyzed. Agenda setting theory is employed in this paper to x-ray the involvement of NAN in reducing flood risks in Lagos. Findings show that NAN mainly reports flood in Lagos during its occurrence and rarely expose effects of socio-cultural-economic activities of Lagos residents that cause flooding. It, however, found that the reportage of flood effects is gendered covering all adult sexes, and also boys and girls The paper recommends amongst others that as a media organization with significant influence and key purveyor of credible information, NAN should engage more in proactive reporting of flood in Lagos before it happens. Its reportage should include weather forecasting, reporting stakeholders’ collaborative activities among other flood risk reduction campaigns.
Key words: Flood, Disaster risk reduction, Lagos, Agenda setting theory, NAN, gendered society