PRESS COVERAGE OF CHINUA ACHEBE’S BURIAL: AN ANALYSIS OF SELECTED NIGERIAN NEWSPAPERS

Ifeanyi Martins Nwokeocha, Daniel T. Ezegwu, Lilly Abasiubong

Abstract


Professor Chinualumogu Albert Achebe, a poet, critic, humanist, pan-Africanist, Africa’s greatest story teller, novelist and a towering African figure whose literary prowess took our Nigerian and African, culture to far and distinct places died on March 21st at Boston, in United States of America and was buried on May 23, at Ogidi, Anambra State. The death of this great scholar and indeed Africa’s number one novelist is a loss not only to his family, but to our country which he brought honour to. His foremost book “Things fall Apart” translated into more than fifty languages etched the history and culture of our people permanently on the psyche of the world. In the view of his immense contributions to the society, this paper explores the assessment of Nigerian press coverage of Achebe’s burial. The paper examined the dominant nature of stories, direction, placement and frequency of stories. Content analysis method of research was used and a sample size of 108 editions from Daily Sun, Daily Trust and The Nation newspaper were examined. The study covered a period of 3 months (April, May and June). The paper established that in spite of tremendous, achievements and fame Achebe brought to Nigeria, the press failed to confer status and Set Agenda on the issue concerning Achebe’s burial. Majority of the stories were straight news items. The paper recommends an urgent need for Nigerian press to understand the people, issues, events and trends in the society in other to confer status to deserving members of the public or institutions. The press should keep people adequately informed about events that occur in society so that citizens can make meaning arising from such issues.

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