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Newspaper reportage and editorial contents of gender-based violence in a pandemic era

Jammy Seigha Guanah


Apart from the health and socio-economic woes largely associated with Covid-19, the virus tended to have aggravated gender-based violence, especially against women and girls under lockdowns due to isolation. The media, represented by newspapers here, are expected to bring to the public knowledge  the various violent acts against the female gender; however, it`s assumed that since the pandemic broke, newspapers` reportage and editorial contents of  gender-based violence is either lacking or inadequate. Therefore, this content analysis study, which was hinged on the Muted Group Theory (MGT),  aimed to identify how many violent cases were reported; how many were gender-based against female, and the most common story type/genre used in  reporting the gender-based violence stories in selected Nigerian online newspapers during the pandemic era. Vanguard, This Day, and Leadership  newspapers were chosen for analysis. General violence and gender-based violence news articles were gleaned from the selected newspapers from April  2020 to July 2020, the period of the different phases of the lockdown and their gradual easing off in Nigeria. The findings showed that 231 stories were  reported about violence by the three newspapers; 208 of this violence was against women and girls while the selected newspapers used more straight  news stories in covering gender-based violence compared to other story types/genres. The study concluded that the fight against gender-based violence  should be the prerogative of everyone, including human rights advocacy groups and the media. It recommended, among others, that all forms of  gender-based violence should be discouraged, and measures should be put in place to protect women/girls’ right to live free from violence. 

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2971-6748
print ISSN: 0189-9562