Audience Perception Of Media Reportage Of Economic Recession In Nigeria

Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication

Audience Perception Of Media Reportage Of Economic Recession In Nigeria


This study explored the extent to which Owerri residents exposed themselves to economic recession stories on mass media and their attitude to these stories. A sample of 400 respondents was used for the study. Structured questionnaire was used as instrument for data collection. Statistical package for social science (SPSS) version 18 was used for the data analysis. Results from the study showed that there was adequate coverage of economic recession news and the audience perceived economic recession news from the viewpoint that the media present it. It was thus recommended that media coverage of economic recession news should be geared towards propagating optimism in order to bring about the needed economic recovery and project a good image in the minds of the citizens of the country and also foreign investors.

Table of Content

Chapter One


  • 1.1 Background of the study
  • 1.2 Statement of the problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the study
  • 1.4 Research question
  • 1.5 Significance of the study
  • 1.6 Scope of the study
  • 1.7 Limitation of the study
  • 1.8 Definition of terms

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Framework

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the study
  • 3.3 Sample size determination
  • 3.4 Sample size selection technique and procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of data collection
  • 3.7 Method of data analysis
  • 3.8 Validity and Reliability of the study

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Answering Research Questions

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • Appendix

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

Economic recession can be defined as negative movements in the economic state of a country, where growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is stalled for two consecutive quarters, calculated to be six months at a stretch (Lekwa & Anyaogu, 2016; Zvonkovic, Lee, Brooks-Hurt & Lee, 2014). Recession is characterised by inflation, low patronage of non-essential commodities, dwindling stock market, poor cash flow, depreciated foreign exchange reserves, increased unemployment due to institutional adjustments, high interest rates on bank services and perceived poor incomes (Afifi, Davis, Merril, Coveleski, Denes & Afifi, 2014).

Generally, a recession is less severe than a depression, but it oftentimes leads to depression. An economic recession is a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in the real Gross Domestic Product (GDP), real income, unemployment, industrial production and wholesale-retail sales. Noko (2016) defines economic recession as a negative real GDP growth rate for two consecutive quarters (say a first and second quarter). Economic recession can also be described as a visible decline in industrial production, employment, real income, adverse exchange rate movements and reduction in wholesale retail trade.

The technical indicator of a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth as measured by a country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), although the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) does not necessarily need to see this occur to call it a recession. It is an extremely difficult period as a nation experiences job losses, collapse of businesses and reduced spending power in many families.

In Nigeria, economic recession brings about negative impact on the nation’s security as this may lead to unemployed graduates getting involved in various crimes as a means of survival. As a result of job losses and prevalent high unemployment, crimes such as drug pushing, kidnapping, ritual killing, cybercrimes and advanced fee frauds may be on the increase as people now seek these alternative means of survival. These crimes have greater consequences and impacts on the socio- economic processes, cultural balance and administration of the country.

They also create a very negative perception of the country to the outside world. So many educated youths are frustrated due to lack of jobs and may resort to crimes while the uneducated ones use more severe violent means to eke out an existence(Phil, 2010).

The media play a prominent role in influencing the psyche of the populace, including in periods of economic recession. The stories reported in the media and the manner in which they are reported significantly affect how members of the population perceive the situation of things. The mode of media reporting also influences how other countries view the situation of a given country. The audience perception also influences the possibility of economic recovery as stories of hope promote optimism while recurring stories of doom and gloom can lead to pessimism and despondency. It is on the backdrop of these that this study is carried out to ascertain the extent to which the residents of Owerri Urban perceived the stories on economic recession in the media.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Media reports of economic recession indices and events play a prominent role in revealing the enormity of recession and also possible recovery time. If these media reports appear gloomy, they are capable of creating fear, pessimism and an aura of hopelessness in the minds of the people. On the other hand, positive media reports can bring about optimism on the part of the citizenry, engender a “can-do” attitude and also go a long way in attracting foreign investment. These play prominent roles in bringing about economic recovery. Thus, the media play a very prominent role in the way they report economic recession, and by extension control the public mood about existing economic conditions. The media also exert significant influence on the perception of people both within and outside the country about economic conditions. This perception may influence the inflow of investments which is a sine qua non for economic recovery. Thus, it is imperative to study the perception of the residents of Owerri, the capital of Imo State, on the media reportage of the economic recession in Nigeria.

1.3 Objective of the Study

The main objective of this study is to examine the Audience Perception Of Media Reportage Of Economic Recession In Nigeria.

Specifically, the study aims:

  1. To examine the extent to which Owerri residents exposed to economic recession stories in the media
  2. To investigate How Owerri residents perceive stories in the media on economic recession
  3. To examine the attitude of Owerri residents towards media stories on economic recession
  4. To examine the media coverage of economic recession news influence audience attitude towards national economic recovery

1.4 Research question

The following research questions guided this study:

  1. To what extent are Owerri residents exposed to economic recession stories in the media?
  2. How do Owerri residents perceive stories in the media on economic recession?
  3. What is the attitude of Owerri residents towards media stories on economic recession?
  4. How does media coverage of economic recession news influence audience attitude towards national economic recovery?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The need to significantly contribute to knowledge in this area inspired the researcher to embark on this study. Thus, this study shall be building block for other similar studies in this area of knowledge. The findings of this study will serve as a reference document for broadcast media practitioners (especially television and radio) on how best to cover economic recession and other economic crisis of this nature in Nigeria, with a view to building a stronger, prosperious and egalitarian society. The national economic council will equally find the outcome of this study very useful, since it will promote the need to build a common bridge between the media and intelligent communities, which will ultimately fast-track growth of local economy. Also, institutions of higher learning (universities, polytechnics, colleges of education, etc) shall find this work very helpful in the teaching and learning of the economy and media studies

1.6 Scope of the Study

the study focused on audience perception of media reportage of economic recession in Nigeria, the residents of owerri metropolis in Imo State formed the scope of this study. Here, the adult males and females were used as respondents.

1.7 Limitation of the Study

This research work is specifically on the audience perception of media reportage of economic recession in Nigeria. In the limitation on research work of this magnitude or nature can be carried out without limitation. Hence, during the course, certain constraints were encountered.


The cost of thorough research is not what can be afforded by a student. The prices of materials needed for this work has gone up and transport fee has also gone up.


The time was one of the limitations in the process of carrying out this research work.

Scarcity Of Literature:

The research encountered some problems in collection of literature especially on the bank History and operations. This are hindered the smooth running of this work.

1.8 Definition of Terms


These are all the male and female adults living in who actually watch TV or listens to Radio reports of the economic recession.


The function of TV and Radio is to inform/warn/alert the audience of impending dangers.

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on the audience perception of media reportage of economic recession in Nigeria, Owerri urban area of Imo state. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.

5.2 Summary

This study was carried out with the aim of assessing the perception of the audience towards economic recession stories. It ascertained the influence that recession stories had on both local and international audiences. The area of study was Owerri urban area of Imo state. This area was chosen due to the fact that it is an industrial area, with a high concentration of private sector and government organisations. The area was also chosen due to the fact that there is a relatively high concentration of media organisations and a high level consumption of media stories.

5.3 Conclusion

The findings show that media stories on economic recession significantly influence audience perception of the situation in the country. Furthermore, media information and news on recession also influence international audiences and donor bodies on the economic performance and prospects of a country.

5.4 Recommendation

Drawing from the data and findings of this study, the following were recommended:

  1. There should be increased media focus on reporting positive economic news as this will help in breeding optimism and positivism, leading to national economic recovery.
  2. Government palliative measures such as YOUWIN Connect, N-Power and the Bank of Industry’s YES programme should be given more media attention so as to enlighten people on available economic opportunities.
  3. The media should work hand in hand with government and private sector bodies in reporting improvements in economic performance indices, so as to create a positive impression towards the international community.

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