NIGERIAN NEWSPAPER FRAMING OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING: THE NEXUS OF PUBLIC PERCEPTION
Over the years, the problematic issue of human trafficking has become a salient feature in Nigerian newspapers. While the media salience of human trafficking has a considerable impact, some argue the overall coverage of the phenomenon has been superficial, leading to varying perceptions and interpretations of the issue. Using a combination of quantitative content analysis and questionnaire survey methods within the framework of agenda-setting theory, this paper investigated the coverage of human trafficking by Nigerian newspapers and how the coverage implicates public perception of the problem. Findings revealed the newspapers frame human trafficking predominantly as direct or straight news. It emerged that the newspapers’ framing of human trafficking issues had a significant positive relationship with public perception of the problem. The result suggests that readers are open to news stories where alternative views and nuanced perspectives about human trafficking are provided. The findings underscore the need to educate the readers about the multifaceted nature of and consequences of human trafficking. Providing broader well-researched stories from multiple sources could engender a nuanced public perception about human trafficking.
Public Awareness, Public Perceptions, Newspaper Framing, Human Trafficking