Background: The importance of the media in the coverage of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Nigeria and its implications (negative or positive) amongst the populace cannot be overemphasized.This study was conducted to assess the role of media in the Ebola reportage and its implication in creating awareness and stopping the spread amongst the populace.
Methods: The nature and extent of media coverage about Ebola in four major national newspapers were examined. The four major national newspapers were The Sun, The Vanguard, The Nation and The Punch newspapers. The period of study ranged from 20 July (when the index case came to Nigeria) to 20 October 2014. Analysis of the newspaper article was according to content.
Results: A total of 1625 articles were published between July 2014 to October 2014 and these were divided into news (1127; 69.4%), features (267; 16.4%), opinion (76; 4.7%), editorials(149; 9.2%) and interviews (6; 0.4%). The most common topic was Ebola cases in Nigeria(17.5%) followed by discrimination due to Ebola (10.8%) and least of all the use of salt and or Kola for the cure of Ebola (5.2%).
Conclusion: Although the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Nigeria Ebola free on the 20th October 2014, continual reportage of the Ebola disease for effective awareness,prevention and control of the virus is recommended.