NBC warns TV and radio stations against ‘misusing the airwaves’ for incitement
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has warned broadcast stations against airing material that could incite citizens.
The regulatory agency said it has noticed misuse of the airwaves to propagate incendiary material by different groups at some broadcasting stations in recent times.
In a statement on Friday, NBC chief executive Balarabe Ilelah said he was concerned about “dividing” comments from guests that appeared in programs aired by broadcast stations.
Ilelah added that broadcasters should take necessary measures to avoid such situations.
He pointed out that any broadcast station that flouts the broadcasting code will be held accountable.
The NBC boss, however, did not mention which programs or stations flouted the rules that called for caution.
The statement reads in part as follows: “While appreciating the need to educate, inform and enlighten the public on matters affecting our national development, the Commission wishes to take this opportunity to advise broadcasters to be careful in dealing with news and current affairs programming, with due professionalism.
“Therefore, the Commission implores broadcasters to: advise guests and/or analysts on their platforms, not to polarize citizens with divisive rhetoric, making their case; ensure that each news/current affairs program complies with the provisions of the Broadcasting Code of Nigeria; take their social responsibility requirements seriously.
Ilelah also listed some provisions of the NBC Code, which broadcast stations should take note of, in regards to warning against remarks that could cause disunity.
It stated: “5.3.3 (b): The broadcaster shall, in using political material for news and current affairs programming, avoid hate speech, inflammatory, derogatory and divisive remarks or allusions.
“5.4.1 (f): The Broadcaster shall not transmit any material which may threaten or impair the indivisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria as a sovereign state.
“5.5.6: The broadcaster must have a delay mechanism to guard against possible undesirable content.”
The DG added that each broadcast station will be responsible for the content they transmit and will be held liable for any content that violates the Broadcasting Code of Nigeria.