By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Apparently worried by the tension arising from the insecurity in the country, the National Broadcasting Commission, (NBC) has cautioned against transmitting of “divisive materials” threatening peace of Nigeria
The Commission in letter dated January 26, 2021 from its Ibadan Zonal office to all Broadcast stations in the zone entitled “Broadcast of Crisis involving Herdsmen ‘ Caution’ ” mandated broadcasters in the zone “to not only promote and protect the corporate existence of Nigeria but also the socio -economic well being of the Nigerian state”.
According to the letter signed by Dr Tony Anigala, Director, Broadcast Monitoring, for NBC Acting Director General , it is now time for broadcasters and their stations to comply strictly with the laid down rules of the Commission governing coverage of crisis, saying,” NBC wishes to bring to your attention emerging trends of national concern like the herdsmen crisis in Ondo and Oyo states and related issues which could spiral out of proportion if not properly handled”.
“The Commission therefore seizes this opportunity to admonish broadcasters on the need to exhibit professionalism and observe required caution in the coverage and presentation of the quit notice to herdsmen and related issue. We wish to remind broadcasters of the rules governing the coverage of crisis as well as the constitutional need to not only promote and protect the corporate existence of Nigeria but also the socio-economic well being of the Nigerian state”, it said
According to NBC in the letter, the rules are Section 5.4.1 which states : a) News and commentary on a crisis, or emergency, in accordance with the professional standards . b) at all times, ensure that the coverage of a disaster or crisis is aimed at the overall public interest , guidance and safety, f) not transmit divisive materials that may threaten or compromise the indivisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria as a Sovereign state”
NBC stressed that Section 5.4.3 states “in reporting conflict situation, the broadcaster shall perform the role of a peace agent by adhering to the principle of responsibility, accuracy and neutrality”.