Framing of Internet Fraud by Select Newspapers in Nigeria
The study was conducted to investigate the framing of internet fraud in Select Nigerian newspapers covering a period of one year (January 1st To December 31st, 2021). This study was anchored on framing theory proposed by Ervin Goffman in 1974. The researchers adopted content analysis approach to the study of the frames in internet fraud reports in the Vanguard and Punch newspapers. A total of 113 issues covering internet fraud were observed in the period. The researchers utilised a purposive sampling technique. With purposive sampling, 11 newspaper reports on internet fraud were identified from the newspaper population. Data were analysed using inductive thematic analysis. Findings revealed that there is a heavy slant of reporting on the offenders, referred to as Yahoo boys in line with popular culture. There was also the use of markers of wealth to describe offenders. The frames revealed the use of subtle sensationalism which clearly caught the public’s attention. It was concluded that that newspaper reports were unduly amplifying the rewards of internet fraud in their selective narration which gave more visibility to the offenders and their wealth in a disproportionate way that obscures the victims of the crime. Thus, it was recommended that journalists should not emphasise affluence, but consequences and victims when reporting internet fraud.