NBC bars Channels TV, Arise News, Ait, others from reporting details of terror attacks

July 16, 2021
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The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) barred television and radio stations from disclosing “details” of the activities of bandits, terrorists and kidnappers in daily Newspaper Reviews.

Broadcast stations like Channels TV, Arise TV, AIT among other TV and radio stations review Newspaper headlines during their breakfast shows.

But the NBC has asked them to ignore some of the headlines on security challenges in the country.

In a letter titled, “Newspaper Reviews And Current Affairs Programmes: A Need For Caution”, Balaraba Ilelah, Director-General of the Commission, sought caution from the broadcast stations.

Francisca Aiyetan, Director, Broadcast Monitoring, signed the letter on behalf of the DG.

The letter 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.”

Last month, the NBC ordered all broadcast stations to go off Twitter after the ban by the Federal Government.

The order is the latest of series orders from the NBC that many say are aimed at stifling the media space.

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