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Newspaper Exposure, Efficacy Feeling and Political Apathy among Youths in South-East Nigeria

Joshua Aghogho Erubami, Paul Bebenimibo and Edith Ugochi Ohaja

Pertanika Journal of Science & Technology, Volume 29, Issue 3, September 2021

DOI: https://doi.org/10.47836/pjssh.29.3.08

Keywords: Media malaise, media mobilisation, newspaper news, political apathy, political cynicism, political efficacy, youth inclusion

Published on: 27 September 2021

The spate of youths’ political apathy in Nigeria remains a constant source of worry to stakeholders. Nevertheless, efforts to stem the tide have been largely unsuccessful. Studies indicate that many youths rely on newspapers and other mass media for political information, and such reliance may influence their general political behaviour. This study examines the influence of newspaper reports on the extent of political apathy among young people in Southeast Nigeria using a sample of 384 respondents selected through a multistage sampling technique. It also evaluates the roles played by political efficacy and news perception in youths’ extent of political involvement. Findings show that obtaining political news from newspaper is positively associated with an increased feeling of political efficacy (rs(379) = .567**, p = <.05) but negatively related to reduced political apathy among youths (rs(379) = -.525**, p = <.05). Also, many young people tend to perceive newspaper political reports to lack depth, objectivity, and accuracy. This perception tends to be negatively associated with their extent of political apathy (rs(379) = -.427*, p = <.05). Therefore, newspaper coverage must pay more attention to reporting on important political issues that will enable the public to take self-determined action consistent with the social responsibility of the press.

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ISSN 0128-7702

e-ISSN 2231-8534

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JSSH-8004-2021

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