The Views of Women of Press Coverage of Rape Cases in Nigeria: A Misrepresentation or an Under-representation?
The degree of prominence given to events, issues or phenomena by the press goes a long way in determining people’s knowledge, exposure, views, opinions and/or suggestions about such events, issues and phenomena. Thus, the degree of prominence given to rape cases by the press in Nigeria determines what Nigerians feel and know about rape and its attendant consequences. This is the bedrock of this study. It is aimed at ascertaining how Nigerian elite women view the coverage of rape cases by Nigerian press. It is a qualitative study in which focus Group Discussion method (involving ten women selected from five state universities in the South Eastern) was used in achieving the aim of the study. The findings show that respondents, view press coverage of rape cases as “under-representation” and not “Mis-representation”. This is based on the cited newspapers which contain few rape cases which were mostly buried in inside pages. Based on this finding, the study recommends that journalists in Nigeria be more sensitive to the plight of rape victims by giving rape cases the prominence they deserve. This no doubt, will serve as deterrant to others who are likely to engage in this inhuman and devilish act.
Key words: Misrepresentation, under-representation, Rape, Press Coverage, Women’s Views.