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Journal VOL. 1 NO. 1, June. 2021, ISSN: 2811 - 2393

Audience Perception of Television Reportage of the Realities of Covid-19 Pandemic. A Study of Residents of Abeokuta South Local Government Area of Ogun State Nigeria

Joseph Dayo Odigie, Clement Ayodeji Odetoyinbo, Fidelis Olusegun Ashade, Taoheed Adejare Adefolakan



Journalists owe their primary allegiance to the public and are often referred to as the fourth estate of the realm. Broadcast stations therefore take the process of gate-keeping seriously in dissemination of news stories that endear them to the audience. Television stations had been in the fore front of the information of the daily reports on covid-19 as released by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) which did not enjoy credibility among citizens. Some held firmly to this information, others mocked the agency and the federal government, accusing them of lack of transparency. Arising from this skepticism, this paper investigated the place of television reportage of COVID-19 information with a view to measuring audience perception of the reality of the existence of the disease. The study used perception theory. Survey research design was adopted for the study. A well designed questionnaire was administered to four hundred (400) respondents that formed the sample of the study. Data collected were presented in tabular form and analysed using simple percentage method. Findings of the study revealed that the rate of respondents' awareness of safety instructions on COVID-19 was high. Some, (38.5%) of the respondents believed that figures of COVID-19 deaths, treatments, discharges and new infectees as being released by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and reported by television, were being exaggerated. The study therefore recommends that government should be transparent in their release of information to the media. Television reporters should verify information before disseminating it to the audience.

Keywords: Audience perception, Credibility, Television reportage, COVID-19, Realities, Transparency

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