Coverage and Framing of Emerging STI and STEM by Four Major Nigerian Newspapers and Implications for National Development

  • Herbert E. Batta Department of Communication Arts University of Uyo, Uyo, Nigeria
  • Nnamdi T. Ekeanyanwu Department of Communication Arts University of Uyo, Uyo, Nigeria
  • Charles D. Obot Department of Communication Arts University of Uyo, Uyo, Nigeria
  • Iniobong C. Nda Department of Communication Arts University of Uyo, Uyo, Nigeria
Keywords: Techno-science, Print Media, Content Analysis, Developing Country

Abstract

In Nigeria, there is a gross deficit of empirical research on emerging STI content in the media. This study investigated four prominent newspapers in Nigeria to ascertain the extent to which STEM and emerging STI are covered and framed. We posed the following research questions covering reportage, sourcing, framing, and implications. The methodology involved a content/framing analyses of Daily Trust, Leadership, The Guardian and The Punch. A census sampling of 728 newspaper issues was conducted covering a period of six months spanning between December 1, 2020 and May 31, 2021. The results indicate a near zero coverage of emerging STI in the four dailies. Other results show that of the eight areas of STEM examined, medical/health sciences (48%), agricultural sciences (24%) and ICTs/engineering (19%) received more coverage. Earth/environmental sciences, physical and chemical sciences, marine, space, and mathematical sciences were accorded near zero coverage. On sourcing of STEM stories in the four dailies, 54% was sourced in-house by the journalists, 33% came from national STI institutions, while 13% was obtained from foreign and internet sources. On framing, 42% of STEM stories were framed in terms of health, risk, and safety; 39% in economic and political frame, while academic, environmental, ethical and “other frames scored between 7% and below. The conclusion of the study is that newspaper coverage of emerging STI was near zero reflecting and projecting the dismal status of emerging STI in Nigeria while the coverage and framing of STEM depicted the media agenda of concentration on medical, agricultural, and ICT endeavours to the neglect of others.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

1. Acosta, S. Tran, T, Mair, J., Okonkwo, O., Larose, B. & Borlongan, C. (2017). Media Coverage and Public Awareness on Bioethnics Perception of Emerging Biomedical Therapies. Chinese Neurosurgical Journal, 3(5) 1-5. Doi: 10. 1186/s41016-0062-3.
2. Adzran, M., Mustapha, C., Amin, L. & Frewer, L. (2020). Predictors of Stakeholder Intention to Adopt Nutrigenomics. Genes and Nutrition 15(16) 1-15.DOI.101186/3/2263-020-00676-y
3. Agbongiarhoayi, A. (2015). Promoting Renewable Energy Use in Nigeria Vanguard. https://www.vanguardngr.cm/googlescholar.
4. Ancillotti, M. & Erikkon, S. (2016). Synthetic Biology in the Press-Media Portrayal in Sweden and Italy in K. Hagen, M. Engelhard, and G. Toepter (Eds.) Ambivalence of creating Life, Societal and Philosophical Dimensions of Synthetic Biology (pp. 141-156). Springer International Publishing.
5. Ancillotti, M. Rerimassie, V., Seitz, S. & Steurer, W. (2016). An Update of Public Perceptions of Synthetic Biology: Still Undecided? Nanoethics, 10(3)309-325. Doi:10.1007/s/1569-016-0256-3.
6. Ancillotti, M., Holmberg, N. Lindfelt, M. &Eriksson, S. (2015). Uncritical and Unbalanced Coverage of Synthetic Biology in the Nordic Press. Public Understanding of Science, 26(2) 235-250. Doi:10.1177/0963662515609834.
7. Anderson, A. A., Brossard, D. & Schefele, D. A. (2016). News Coverage of Controversial Emerging Technologies: Evidence for the Issue Attention Cycle in Print and Online Media. Journal of Politics and the Life Science, 31: 1-2.
8. Atta-Mensah, J. (2015). The Role of Science, Technology and Innovation in Africa’s Growth (I). United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).
9. Banerjee, G., Pal, R. & Ray, A. K. (2015). Applications of Nutrigenomics in Animal Sector: A Review. Asian Journal of Animal Veterinary Advances, 10 (9): 489 -499.

10. Baran, S. J. & Davis, D. K. (2009). Mass Communication Theory: Foundation, Ferment and Future 5th ed.) California: Wardworh Publishing Company.
11. Batta, H., Ashong, C. & Obot, C. (2014). Science, Nano-science and Nano-Technology Content in Nigeria’s Elite and Popular Press: Focus on Framing and Socio-political Involvement. New Media and Mass Communication, 31: 9-19.
12. Batta, H., Ekanem, I., & Udousoro, N. (2014). Techno-scientific Temper of three Nigeria Newspapers. Developing Country Studies, 4(26): 57-67.
13. Boholm, A. & Larsson, S. (2019). What is the Problem? A Literature Review of Challenges Facing the Communication of Nanotechnology to the Public. Journal of Nanoparticle Research, 21(86)1-21. https://doi.org/1001007/s11051-019-4524-3.
14. Braun, M., Starkbaum, J., & Dabrock, P. (2015). Safe and Sound? Scientist’s Understanding of Public Engagement in Emerging Biotechnologies. PLOS ONE (10(12): e0145033.https://doi. org/10.1371/; journal. Pone.1045033.
15. Cacciatore, M. A., Anderson, A. A., Choi, D, Brossard, D., Scheufele, D. A., Liang, X., Ludwig, P. J., Xenos, M, & Dudo, A. (2012). Coverage of Emerging Technologies: A Comparison between Print and Online Media. New Media and Society, 0(0)1-21.
16. Callinan, P. A. & Feinberg, A. P.(2006). The Emerging Science of Epigenomics. Human Molecular Genetics, 15(1) R. 95-R101. Doi: 1093/hmg/dd1095.
17. Chakravosti, B., & Chaturvedi, S. (2019). Research: how technology could promote growth in 6 African Countries. Harvard Business Review, December 04.
18. Chen, Y. & Sun, S. (2020). Newspaper Coverage of Artificial Intelligence: A Perspective of Emerging Technologies. Telematics and Informatics, 53 https://dio.org/10/1016/j.tele.2020.101433.
19. Cohen, B. C. (1963). The press and foreign policy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
20. Donk, A. Metag, J., Kohring, M. & Marcinkowski, F. (2012). Framing Emerging Technologies, Risk Perceptions of Nanotechnology in the German Press. Science Communication, 34(1): 5-29. Doi:10.1177/1075547011417892.
21. Dubios, M., Louvel, S. LeGoff, A., Guaspare, C., & Allard, P. (2019). Epigenetic in the Public Sphere: Interdisciplinary Perspective. Environmental Epigenetics, 5(4) dvz 019, https:// doi.org/10. 1093/ eep/ dvz019.

22. Dvorsky, G. (2013). 11 Emerging Scientific Fields that Everyone Should Know About. February 27, Obtained from i09.gizmodo.com.
23. Dyke, S. O. M., Ennis, C. A., Joly, Walter, J., Siebert, R. & Pastinen, T. (2020). Communicating Science: Epigenetic in the Spotlight. Environmental Epigenetic, 6(1) dvaa, 015. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1093/eep/dvaa015.
24. Edward-Ekpu, U. (2017). There are no Science Museums or Centres in Nigeria and Most of African. SciTech Africa. http://www.Scitechafrica. Accessed September 25, 2018.
25. Entmam, R. M. (1993). Framing: Towards Identification of a Fractured Paradigm. Journal of Communication, 43(4)51 -58.
26. Groboljsek, B., & Mali, F. (2012). Daily Newspapers View on Nanotechnology in Slovenia. Science Communication, 34(1): 30-56. Doi:10.177/107555470 11427974.
27. Harsh, M., Woodson, T. S., Cozzens S., Wetmore, J. M., Sumouni, O. & Cortes, R. (2018). The Role of Emerging Technologies in Inclusive Innovation: The case of Nanotechnology in South Africa. Science and Public Policy, 45(5) 597-607. http://doi.org/10.1093/scipol/sxc079.
28. Hudson, S. (2014). Top 10 Emerging Technologies that are changing the world. September 15. www.makeuseof.com.
29. Joshi, D. (2019). Drone Technology Uses Applications for Commercial, Industrial and Military Drones in 2020 and the Future. www.businessinsider.com/drone-technology-uses-application?IR=T. (Retrieved on 27th January, 2020).
30. Juma, C. (2016). Forget Natural Resource: Its Science and Technology that will Transform Africa. World Economic Forum, August 17, https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/08...
31. Kaput, J., & Rodriguez, R. L. (2021). Nutritional genomics: the next frontier in the postgenomic era. Physiological Genomics, January 15, 2004. Retrieved from http://doc.org:/10.11152/ physiol genomics. 00107.2003.
32. Karoui, M. E., Hoyos-Flight, M. & Fletcher, L. (2019). Future Trends in Synthetic Biology – A Report. Frontiers inBioengineering and Biotechnology, August 7, https://doi.org/10.3389/fbioe. 2019. 00175.
33. Keener, K., Hoban, T. & Balarubramanian, R. (2015). Biotechnology and Applications. Department of Food Science, North Carolina University.
34. Lappe, M. (2016). Epigenetics, Media Coverage, and Parent Responsibilities in the Postgenomic Era. Curr. Genet. Med. Rep., 4(3): 92 – 97.
35. Leadership (Wednesday, March 24, 2021). Applying Science, Engineering Infrastructure for Economic Recovery, p. 20.
36. Mackensie, D. & Wajcman, J. (1985). The Social Shaping of Technology. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.
37. Mailafia, O. (2017). Science, Engineering and Mathematics, No Arabic please. Vanguard, July 18. http:www.vanguardorg.com. October 13.
38. Mardin, E. M. P., Darling, E. S., & Hardt, M. J. (2019). Emerging Technologies and Coral Reef Conservation: Opportunities, Challenges, and Moving Forward. Frontiers in Marine Science. 10:https://doi.org/10.3389/fmar’s. 2019.00727.
39. Marsh, K. (2016). How Africa can close its Continent-wide Science Funding Gap. The Conversation, April 12, 2016.
40. Mashi S. A., Inkani, A. A. & Yaro, A. (2014). An Appraisal of the role of science and Technology in Promoting National Development Efforts in Nigeria. The International Journal of Engineering and Science, 3(2): 56-67.
41. May, M. (2015). Technology Feature: Synthetic Biology’s Clinical Applications. www.sciencemag.org/features/2015/09/synthetic-biology-s-clinical-applications (Retrieved on 27th January, 2020).
42. Mazerik, J. & Rejeski, D. (2014). A Guide for Communicating, Synthetic Biology. Synthetic Biology Project. The Woodrow Wilson International Centre for scholars.
43. Mede, N. G. (2022). Legacy Media an Inhibitors and Drivers of Public Reservations against Science: Global Survey Evidence on the Link between Media use and Anti-Science Attitudes. Humanities and Social Science Communications, 9 (40). https://idoi.org.1057/s41599-022-01058-y.
44. Meng, F. & Ellis, T. (2020). The Second Decade of Synthetic Biology: 2010-2020. Nature Communication, 11(5174).
45. Mouritsen, Q. G. & Risbo, J. (2013). Editorial: Gastrophysics – do we need it? Flavour, 2013, 2(3) 1-2. http://www.flavour. journal.com/content/2/1/3.
46. Nanowerk Spotlight ( 2013 ). Nanotechnology in the media.https://www.nanowerk. comspotlight/ spotid = 28564.php.
47. Ndesaulwa, A. P. & Kikula, J. (2016). The Impact of Technology and Innovation (Technovation) in Developing Countries: A Review of Empirical Evidence. Journal of Business and Management Science, 4(1)7-11. Doi:10.12691/jbms-4-1-2.
48. Neeha, V. S. & Kinth, P. (2013). Nutrigenomics Research: A Review. Journal of Food Science Technology, 50(3) 415-428doi:10/007/5/3197-012-0775-z
49. Nwazor, T. (2017). Five Emerging Technologies in Science that will shape our Lives in the Coming Years. December 6. Huffingtonpost.com

50. Orekyeh, E. & Onourah, N. G. (2014). Nigerian Magazines’ Coverage of the Boko Haram Insurgency: A Job well done. In: Ndolo, I. S. (Ed.) (2014). International Journal of Media, Security and Development (IJMSD), 1(1).
51. Oyewale, A. A., Adebowale, B. A. & Siyanbola (2017). Nigeria STI policy and the dilemma of implementation. Research Handbook on Innovation Governance for Emerging Economies (pp.345-374) Edward Elgar Publishing.
52. Pauwells, E. (2013). Public Understanding of synthetic Biology. Bioscience, 63(2) 79-89. www.biossciencemag.org.
53. Perez, J. A. Deligianni, F., Ravi, D., & Yang, G. (2018). Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. arXiv.1803.10813.https://doi.org/10.48550/arXiv.1803.10813.
54. Porcar, M. & Pereto, J. (2018). Creating and the Media: Translation and Echoes. Life Science, Society and Policy, 14(19).Doi: https;//doi.org/10.1186/s40504-018-0087-9.
55. Righettic, N. & Carradore, M. (2019). From Robot to Science Robots. Trends, Representation and Facebook Engagement of Robots –Related News Stories published by Italian Online News Media. Italian Sociological Review, 9(3): 431-454.
56. Russell, C. (2010). Chapter 3: Covering Controversial Science: Improving Reporting on Science and Policy. In D. Kennedy & G. Overholser (Eds.). Science and the Media. American Academy of Arts and Science. www.amacade.org/publicationservice-and-media/section/5.
57. Sales, N. M. R., Pelegrini, P. B. & Goersch, M. C. (2014). Nutrigenomics: Definition and Advance of this New Science. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism,Hindawi Publishing Corporation. http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/202759.
58. Shipman, M. (2015). How NewsStories CanInfluence Perceptions of Emerging Technologies. Retrieved from https://phys.org/new/2015-08-news-stories-perceptions-emerging-technologies. html on September 13, 2019.
59. Sun, S., Zhai, Y., Shan, B. & Chan, Y. (2020). Newspaper Coverage Artificial Intelligence: A Perspective of Emerging Technologies. Telematics and Informatics, 53: 101433.Doi: 10.1016/; tele.2020.101433.
60. Sutcliffe, H. (undated). Public Hysteria About Technology – Where is the Evidence? Obtained from www.matterforall.org.
61. The African Courier (October 25, 2021). Why African must close its Science and Technology Gap – Former President of Mauritius. Africa Media Agency (AMA),http://www.theafrican courier .de/ special / business,why-africa-must-close-its-science-and-technology-gap-president-of-mauritius.
62. The Guardian (Monday, May 5, 2021). Why Nigeria’s Food Products Can’t Compete Globally – by Minister, p.42.
63. The Physics Arxiv Blog (2014). The emerging Science of proteotronics. March 19. Arxiv.org/abs/1405.3840.
64. Torgersen, H. & Schmidt, M. (2013). Frame and Comparators: How Might Debate on Synthetic Biology Evolve? Futures, April; 48: 44-54. Doi:10/016j: futures, 2013.02.002.
65. Van der Linden, E. (2013). Opinion: Integration of Gastronomy and Physics for Innovation. Flavour, 20132(11): 1-3 http://www.flavourjournal. com/content/2/1/11.
66. Wilkinson, C. E., Bultitude, K., & Dawson, E. (undated) Talking Robots: Emerging public Engagement with Emerging Robotic Technologies. Science Communication Unit, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of the West of England, Bristol. https//www.science.uwe.ac.ak/sciencecommunication.
67. Wycliffe, A., & Ayuya, V. C. (2013). Leveraging Science, Technology and Innovation for National Development in the Light of the Emerging Universities of Science and Technology in Kenya. Mediterranean Journal of Social Science, 4(2): 457-457. Doi:10.5901/mjss. 2013.v4r2p457.
Published
2022-09-20
How to Cite
Batta, H. E., Ekeanyanwu, N. T., Obot, C. D., & Nda, I. C. (2022). Coverage and Framing of Emerging STI and STEM by Four Major Nigerian Newspapers and Implications for National Development. European Scientific Journal, ESJ, 9, 308. Retrieved from https://eujournal.org/index.php/esj/article/view/15835
Section
ESI Preprints