NBC Warns Broadcast Stations Against Divisive News, Threatens Action

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has warned Nigeria media stations to shun airing sensitive materials that are injurious to national unity.

This information was contained in a statement on Friday by its Director General, Mallam Balarabe Shehu Ilelah.

The commission reminded broadcasters of the need to be guided by the code and ethics in the discharge of their responsibilities.

According to Ilelah, every station would be held liable for any content in violation of the Nigeria Broadcast Code.

The statement read in part: “The National Broadcasting Commission has observed, with concern, the misuse of the airwaves to propagate incendiary materials by different groups in some broadcasting Stations in recent times.

“While appreciating the need of educating, informing, and enlightening the public on issues bordering on our National Development, the Commission wishes to seize this opportunity to advise broadcasters to be cautious in the handling of News and Current Affairs programmes by exhibiting necessary professionalism.

Consequently, the commission implored broadcasters to: 

Advise guests and /or analysts on their platforms, not to polarise the citizenry with divisive rhetoric, in driving home their points,

Ensure that every news/current Affairs programme conforms to the provisions of the Nigerian Broadcasting Code;

Take their social responsibility requirements seriously.

The commission, however, reminded broadcasters to be guided by the provision of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, especially, the under-listed sections:

5.3.3(b): The broadcaster shall, in using political materials for news and current Affairs programmes, avoid Hate Speech, Inflammatory, Derogatory, and Divisive remarks or allusions;

5.4.19(f): The Broadcaster shall not transmit divisive materials that may threaten or compromise the invisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria as a Sovereign State;

5.5.6: The broadcaster shall have a delay mechanism to guard against possible undesirable content.

“Please note that every Broadcast Station is responsible for the content it transmits, and shall be held liable for any content in violation of the Nigeria Broadcast Code”, Ilelah added.

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