The General Challenges Involved in Health Reporting among Newspaper Health Reporters in Nigeria

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Semiu Bello


The important nature of health in society often makes it a prime subject of coverage in the media. Today, one of the major areas of coverage in journalism is health because members of society now rely on the media as a major source of health information. Considering the specialised and technical nature of health reporting, health reporters encounter different challenges such as the nature of the health topic being covered, the personality of the health reporters, the kind of relationships with the health and science researchers and the environment within which health reporting is done. In this study, the author investigates the challenges newspaper health reporters encounter in Nigeria in the discharge of their professional duty. Through in-depth interviews with 13 health reporters in Nigeria, the author discovered that: health and science researchers often refused to talk to health reporters; and that health reporters do not have access to current health data and statistics; no provision for on-the-job insurance coverages; insecurity and poor conditions of service. The study, however, concludes that these challenges, which majorly reflect the common features of developing countries, can be mitigated if media organisations and the Nigerian government play their roles, to facilitate the development of health reporting field to the level found developed countries.


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BELLO, Semiu. The General Challenges Involved in Health Reporting among Newspaper Health Reporters in Nigeria. Malaysian Journal of Media Studies, [S.l.], v. 17, n. 1, june 2015. ISSN 2231-8143. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 04 july 2020.