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Since man’s activity is done in the environment and the resultant effect is either negative or positive to man, the press as the watchdog of the society is expected to draw attention of all and Daily Sundry to environmental issues around them; one of which is environmental pollution. Hence, the study investigated press coverage of environmental pollution in the Niger Delta region by content analyzing four national newspapers: The Guardian, Vanguard, Daily Sun and Thisday with the view to finding out whether the Nigerian press cover environmental pollution in the Niger Delta, the extent of their coverage, the nature of news coverage given to environmental pollution in the region and forms of environmental pollution prevalent in the region as covered by the four newspapers. This study reveals that little coverage and low interpretation was given to the subject matter. Also, that no story on the subject matter made the front or back pages of the newspapers studied within the 9 months study period. Finally, that the most reported aspect of environmental pollution in the region is oil pollution and related activities. The findings led to the suggestions that media organizations should assign beat reporters to cover environmental issues in the country especially in the Niger Delta region. Also suggested is the introduction of environmental education in the school curriculum from primary to tertiary institutions to inculcate in the masses environmental friendly attitudes. Again, that government should ensure strict compliance to environmental laws in the country.


Title Page
Table of Contents
List of Tables

1.1       Background of Study
1.2       Statement of Problem
1.3       Objectives of the Study
1.4       Research Questions
1.5       Significance of Study
1.6       Definition of Term

2.1       Focus of Review
2.2       Causes of Environmental Pollution in Niger Delta
2.3       Theoretical Framework

3.1.      Research Design
3.2.      Population of Study
3.3.      Sample Size
3.4.      Sampling Technique
3.5.      Unit of Analysis
3. 6. Measuring Instrument
3.7.      Validity/ Reliability
3.8.      Method of Data Analysis
3.9 Limitations of Methodology

4.1       Description of the Sample
4.2       Data Presentation and Analysis
4.3       Discussion on Findings

5.1       Summary
5.2       Conclusion
5.3       Recommendations


1.1 Background of Study
One of the greatest problems facing the Niger Delta region in Nigeria is that of environmental pollution which causes great damages to the earth. Environmental pollution takes place when the environment cannot process and neutralize harmful by-products of human activities in due course without any structural or functional damage to its system.

Pollution occurs when the natural environment is unable to decompose the generated elements and on the other hand, when man fail to decompose these pollutants artificially. This has negative impacts on crucial environmental services such as provision of clean water, air and arable land without which life on earth as we know it would be difficult.

Environmental pollution is a problem both in developed and developing countries. Factors such as population growth and urbanization invariably place greater demands on the environment and stretch the use of natural resources to the maximum. Such overuse of natural resources often results in nature’s degradation.
Human environment is made up of the following aspects: The physical, social, economic, political and technological. The physical environment consists of air, land and water; the social environment consists of the relationships existing among them; the technological environment consists of experiences and practices required for constant adaptation and survival; while the political environment is defined by the degree of authority exercised by some over others.
The environment is said to be polluted when there is substantial alteration in form and function of the components of the physical environment which in turn produces harmful effects on human beings. The key word here is “substantial”, which is used to show that no component of the physical environment can be considered to be polluted until it has been altered in form or function in such a way that it can immediately or potentially harm human being directly or indirectly.

Environmental pollution may cause short term or long term detriment to the earth’s ecological balance which lowers the quality of life. Pollutants may cause primary damage with direct identifiable impact on the environment or secondary damage in form of minor changes in the delicate balance of the environment that are detectable over a long period. With the increase in waste production, indiscriminate discharge of untreated industrial and domestic wastes into water ways, the spewing of thousands of tones of particulates and airborne gases into the atmosphere, the “throw away” attitude toward solid wastes, and the use of newly developed chemicals without considering the potential consequences have resulted in major environmental disasters which will eventually force governments, groups, organizations and individuals to undertake more effective environmental planning and adopt more effective anti-pollution measures

In Niger Delta, one of the threatening environmental problems prevalent in the area is environmental pollution caused by oil exploration and related activities. As an oil producing region, oil spillage is one of the most outstanding causes of water and land or soil pollution while air pollution is mostly caused by gas flaring and industrial effluents. The direct impact of oil exploration in the region has been felt by everyone living in the area. Some of these issues include ecological degradation, environmental pollution, associated human rights abuses, high inflation and loss of livelihood. It could only be fair if these groups of people are appropriately compensated.

Niger Delta, according to Ashong and Aniefiok(2007), is of two classifications, namely: physiographic (core) Niger Delta and oil producing Niger Delta. The core Niger Delta includes states like Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Ondo and Rivers. The Niger Delta as currently defined by government comprises Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo and Rivers states with a total of 185 local government areas and a combined population of over 28million persons. Such inclusion of other oil producing states from other geo-political zones Ekpo (2004) sees as a measure of administrative convenience adopted by the government.

The resulting ecological devastation as a result of oil exploration and related activities are enormous. Oil film in water prevents natural aeration killing fish and other aquatic lives, farm lands are lost, drinking water and air are made unsafe for human consumption. The resulting impact on the residents is enormous, yet the amounts of wealth generated from these areas are not reinvested in order to lessen these environmental impacts. This clearly could culminate into environmental racism and discriminatory acts, a systematic denial of rights.

The mangrove forests of the Niger Delta are important ecological resource as they provide essential ecosystem including soil stability, medicines, healthy fisheries, wood for fuel and shelter, tannins and dyes, and critical wildlife habitats. Oil spills contributes to degradation and destruction of the mangrove forests. Endangered species such as Delta elephant, the white monkey, the river hippopotamus, and crocodiles are increasingly threatened by the activities of the oil companies......

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