This study is on an investigation into the menace of kidnapping in Nigeria and the report effectiveness of the press. The total population for the study is 200 staff of selected newspaper in Abuja. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made editors, marketers, senior staff and junior staff was used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies
1.1 Background of the study
The kidnapping of all manner of persons has gained ascendancy in Nigeria. A malady previously unknown to the people has rapidly become domesticated. In the last ten years, the volatile oil rich regions of the Niger Delta witnessed this phenomenon on a large scale with the target being mostly expatriates and Nigerians in the oil business. It has spread throughout the country extending to places as far as Kano and Kaduna in the far Northern part of Nigeria. South-East and South-South Nigeria have become known as the kidnappers’ playgrounds of Nigeria. Kidnapping seems easier compared to other forms of serious crimes. According to Davidson (2010), a group of criminals armed with guns and cell phones apprehend unsuspecting victims and drag their victim into a secluded spot and begin to make phone calls to whomever and demand for a ransom. The police with a mandate to provide security for the people are often unprepared for the task at hand. They think their job is done if they manage to secure the kidnapped, but of the kidnappers nothing much is ever heard. As we all know, the police are poorly trained and poorly equipped, but beyond these inadequacies there are worrying signs that their loyalty is suspected. Some whistle blowers have come to grief for confiding in them. The primary role of government is the provision of security for its own people. In Nigeria this role has been largely ignored. The Nigerian state no longer provides security for the Nigerian people. Nigerians have compulsorily become religious as whole families barricade themselves at night in prison-high walls and pray that God protection. But kidnapping as a variant of armed robbery is infinitely more disturbing as it often occurs in the open among persons going about their normal business. The widening scale of insecurity in Nigeria is a cause for concern as all are affected by it. Churches, mosques, markets, schools, homes and the highway, all are susceptible to this menace. The abductees and their families are traumatized by the ordeal of kidnapping. Foreign investors are scared away from Nigeria. Nigerians are paying the price of poor governance and failures of leadership. Davidson (2010) points out that the general state of insecurity in some parts of the country has no doubt reached a stage where virtually everybody is now worried the direction the region is going. Presently, hardly can people sleep because of the fear of being robbed or kidnapped. Businessmen have taken flight with their businesses for fear of being kidnapped or robbed.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Security of lives and property is one of the issues that attracts the attention of both the masses and government of a given society indeed, any breach of security whether in the form of kidnapping, abduction, bomb explosion and so on, which could result in physical injury against a victim, destruction of properties or loss of human lives is usually least appreciated by most peace loving individuals, groups and governments alike. Yet, it appears that a breach of security in Nigeria particularly kidnapping, is becoming more rampant than ever before in recent years. One would reason that the mass media which has a social responsibility to provide the public with adequate information about certain incidents in the society, could have paid greater attention to issues bordering on kidnapping and inform the public accordingly. While the broadcast media may not have assigned more air-time to such issues because of too many other programmes, it is assumed that magazine reports on those issues may not have been adequately given the periodic nature of magazine.
It therefore becomes pertinent to ask the basic question: to what extend did Nigerian newspapers report kidnapping in the country between 2011 and 2012?
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
This study had the following objectives:
1. To determine the frequency with which kidnapping is covered in the selected Nigerian newspapers.
2. To determine the prominence given to the reporting of kidnapping in the selected Nigerian Newspapers.
3. To determine the depth of coverage given to kidnapping in the selected Nigerian Newspapers.
4. To determine the direction of reportage of kidnapping stories in Nigerian Newspapers, the Punch and the Guardian.
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;
H0: there is no prominence given to the reporting of kidnapping in selected Nigerian Newspapers
.H1: there is prominence given to the reporting of kidnapping in selected Nigerian Newspapers
H02: kidnapping is covered in the selected Nigerian newspapers.
H2: kidnapping is covered in all Nigerian newspapers.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Journalists are saddled with the responsibility of reporting the activities of people to their audience. Pressmen, as the purveyor of information, endeavors to report events accurately as they unfold. By so doing, members of the audience (readers) are made to know about the happenings in the society (Uwah, 2006, P. 9). Having said that, this work will provide useful information to government and security agencies in all the three tiers of government in Nigeria in evaluating the security situation in the country during the year and so as to know what security measures to adopt in future. The work will also serve as information material to the Federal ministry of information in obtaining adequate data on the state of kidnapping in Nigeria, so as to better inform the public as the case may be.
Still, this study will reveal how the two Nigerian Newspapers- the Punch and the Guardian fared in their reportage of kidnapping, if compared to other mass media. Finally, this work serves as reference material to libraries, researchers and the general public.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study covers an investigation into the menace of kidnapping in Nigeria and the report effectiveness of the press. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;
a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
c) Organizational privacy: Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities.
INVESTIGATION: The action of investigating something or someone; formal or systematic examination or research.
MENACE: A person or thing that is likely to cause harm; a threat or danger.
KIDNAPPING: In criminal law, kidnapping is the unlawful carrying away and confinement of a person against his or her will. Thus, it is a composite crime.
PRESS: The news media or news industry is forms of mass media that focus on delivering news to the general public or a target public. These include print media, broadcast news, and more recently the Internet.
1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows
Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the studyAN INVESTIGATION INTO THE MENACE OF KIDNAPPING IN NIGERIA AND THE REPORT EFFECTIVENESS OF THE PRESS