The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has directed Nigerian broadcast stations including Radio and Television not to reveal “details” of activities of bandits, terrorists and kidnappers in their reports.
The Nation reported that the commission in their letter explicitly ordered radio and television stations not to “glamourize the nefarious activities of insurgents” during their daily Newspaper Reviews.
Broadcast stations during their breakfast show usually review Newspaper headlines but the NBC, in a letter dated July 7, 2021, to television and radio stations, told broadcasters to apply “caution” while reporting security issues.
The letter titled: ‘Newspaper Reviews And Current Affairs Programmes: A need for caution’, signed by Francisca Aiyetan the Director, Broadcast Monitoring, on behalf of the new Director-General of the Commission, Balarabe Allah.
“Headlines of most Newspapers daily 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 letter partly read.
The NBC, in their letter, therefore, charged broadcasters to partner with the government in dealing with the security challenges by not; “glamorising the nefarious activities of insurgents, terrorists, kidnappers, bandits” etc, “Advising guests and/or analysts on programmes not to polarize 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 jeopardize the efforts of the Nigerian soldiers and other security agents.”
The Commission also reminded 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.”