The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has directed television, radio stations not to glamourise or give “details” of security reports surrounding the activities of bandits, terrorists and kidnappers in their commentary.
It is no secret that the average Nigerian radio listener or television viewer has developed a culture of waking up early to catch get an update of happenings in the country every morning.
Giving their huge number of listeners and viewers, more radio and TV stations now review newspaper headlines during their breakfast shows.
However, the new NBC directive may put paid to such morning review following the commission’s warning for relevant broadcast stations to ignore some of the headlines on security challenges.
In the letter titled, “Newspaper Reviews And Current Affairs Programmes: A Need For Caution”, NBC Director-General, Balaraba Ilelah sought caution from the broadcast stations.
The letter signed by the Director of Broadcast Monitoring, Francisca Aiyetan, on behalf of the commission DG reads, “Headlines of most Newspapers on a daily basis are replete with security topics. While bringing information on security to the doorsteps of Nigerians is a necessity, there is a need for caution as too many details may have an adverse implication on the efforts of our security officials who are duty-bound to deal with the insurgency.
“The Commission, therefore, order broadcasters to collaborate with the government in dealing with the security challenges by; “Not glamourising the nefarious activities of insurgents, terrorists, kidnappers, bandits etc.
“Advising guests and/or analysts on programmes not to polarise the citizenry with divisive rhetoric, in driving home their point. Not giving details of either the security issues or victims of these security challenges so as not to jeopardise the efforts of the Nigerian soldiers and other security agents.”
The Commission also directed the broadcast stations to be guided by provisions of Sections 5.4.1(f) and 5.4.3 of the NBC Code which states thus:
“The broadcaster shall not transmit divisive materials that may threaten or compromise the divisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria as a sovereign state.
“In reporting conflict situations, the broadcaster shall perform the role of a peace agent by adhering to the principle of responsibility, accuracy and neutrality.”
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