MEDIA AND PONZI SCHEME
NEWSPAPERS FRAMING OF MMM ACCOUNTS FREEZING IN NIGERIA
This study investigated The Nation and Daily Trust newspapers of December 13, 2016 MMM accounts freezing in Nigeria. The focus of the research was on how the incident of account freezing was framed by newspapers and how this influenced public opinion. In conducting this study, content analysis and survey research methods were used to generate quantitative data for analysis. Five news frames used in newspapers were analysed to establish the influence on the news audience of Makurdi, metropolis. After analysis, it was found that the newspapers used hopelessness frame, attribution frame, rescue, conspiracy and prospect frames. It was also found that hopelessness frame was used more in reports in The Nation and Daily Trust than other frames. Straight news was
predominant and interpretative analysis was absent. The inter coder reliability tested was 0.86. Finally, it was established that the news audience studied believed that the framing of MMM accounts freezing in the newspapers influenced their perception. The study also revealed that negative stories dominated media framing of the incident and this had negative impact on the scheme. The study recommended the use of positive frames in the coverage of tragedy and disaster to avoid the negative impact.