From the Boob Tube to YouTube: Critical Appraisal of Nigerian Media


In the last three decades extreme weather conditions such as wildfires, deforestation, desertification, gas flaring, erosion, flood disasters, land degradation, land slides, ocean surges, hurricanes, sea and air pollution, drought to excessive rainfall etc. have become the new normal in the global environment. The interplay between the increased volume of carbon dioxide and other green house gases, which are released from the burning of fossil fuels, bush burning, decomposition of organic wastes and other human activities are the primary causes of these inclement conditions. This abnormality in climate has caused economic losses, population displacements, communal crises, desertification, soil erosion and threatened food security. A number of scientific studies have confirmed that human activities such as industrialization, urbanization, water pollution, deforestation and bush burning are among the highest contributory factors to climate change. Some other studies have focused on the effects of climate change on human health and ecological destabilization while few studies concentrated on mitigation and adaptation to climate change. The impact of these conditions has become pervasive, devastating and worrisome that the international community has also organized a number of summits, conferences, conventions and declarations aimed at increasing the level of awareness and attention to the problems of climate change. The 1992 United Nations' organized 'Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), otherwise known as the Earth Summit' is one of such platforms. To what extent has the Nigerian media used the outcomes of the various scientific studies on the causes and impact of climate change, to create awareness about its devastating effects and possible amelioration. Rukevwe avers that not much has been done in the area of education on the causes and impacts of climate change. It is in this regard that Pam argues for more education and awareness on climate change. In fact this is the crux of Principle 10 of the Rio. In order to encourage many nation states to ensure the implementation of access to information, participation and justice in environmental decision-making, the United Nations has brokered a number of multilateral agreements. Some of them include. Has the Nigerian media environment taken advantage of these initiatives to create sufficient awareness on climate change? As observed by Rukevwe, the Nigerian media have not done much with their huge potentials stretching from the era of 'Boob tube' to YouTube regime. This paper therefore argues that the Nigerian media should harness its potentials, which have been accentuated by the digital culture, to create awareness on the devastating effects of climate change.