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Controversial Broadcasting Code Tears NBC Board, Management Apart

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The board of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has insisted the controversial sixth edition of the Nigerian Broadcasting Code must be reviewed.

Controversial Broadcasting Code Tears NBC Board, Management Apart

The board had penultimate Friday placed advertisements in some national newspapers calling on aggrieved stakeholders in the broadcasting and entertainment industries to submit position papers on the amended code, according to Daily Trust.

But the NBC, in another advert signed by its acting Director-General, last Monday, had asked Nigerians to disregard the earlier one put out by the board.

However, , Ikra Aliyu Bilbis, chairman, NBC board, told journalists in Abuja that it was wrong for the NBC’s top management staff to say the advert placed by the board had no official endorsement of the commission.

Bilbis, who alleged that some ministry officials were setting the NBC’s top management staff against the commission’s board, said protocols were being breached by the officials in their oversight of the broadcast regulatory agency.

He said as much the board agreed that Section 6 of the NBC Act conferred on the minister the power to give directives of a general character to the commission, the Act “however does not infer that the honourable minister can substitute the board by usurping the functions of the same board.”

He said there had never been a time in the history, tradition and conventions of the NBC when a presidential approval was needed for a review of the broadcasting code. He wondered why top management of NBC would choose not to listen to stakeholders who were shut out during the amendment.

Reacting, Mr Amstrong Idachaba, acting director-general, NBC, said that the commission “carried all the stakeholders along during the amendment’’.

Idachaba alleged that a stakeholder, who is a foreign company, was behind the campaign against the amended code. He said the company was kicking against the code because it erroneously believed that it would weaken its monopoly and brought Nigerian companies up to the same level as it.

“This is not so. Rather it would even give them more reach and more money”, he said.

 


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SERAP Kicks as NBC Slams Fines on Channels, AIT, Arise TV

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Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), leading Nigerian rights group, has given the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) 48 hours to cancel the fines imposed on three TV channels over their coverage of #EndSARS protests.

SERAP Kicks as NBC Slams Fines on Channels, AIT, Arise TV

NBC had Monday slammed fines on Channels TV, African Independent Television, AIT, and Arise TV over alleged unprofessional reporting of the #EndSARS protests in the country.

In its reaction, SERAP “condemned the unconstitutional and illegal fines of N9m” and threatened to go to court.

In  a statement by Kolawole Oluwadare, deputy director, SERAP said: “This action by the NBC is yet another example of Nigerian authorities’ push to silence independent media and voices.

“The NBC should drop the fines and uphold Nigerian constitution and international obligations to respect and protect freedom of expression and media freedom.

“We will sue the NBC if the unconstitutional fines are not rescinded within 48 hours.”

The organization said: “This is a new low in Nigeria’s protection of freedom of expression, and the ability of independent media to function in the country. The fines are detrimental to media freedom, and access to information, and the NBC must immediately withdraw the decision.

“Media freedom and media plurality are a central part of the effective exercise of freedom of expression and access to information.

“The ability to practice journalism free from undue interference, to cover peaceful protests, and critical views are crucial to the exercise of many other rights and freedoms.”

“The media has a vital role to play as ‘public watchdog’ in imparting information of serious public concern and should not be inhibited or intimidated from playing that role. The NBC should stop targeting and intimidating independent media and voices.”

“President Muhammadu Buhari should caution the NBC to stop intimidating and harassing independent media houses and to respect the Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended] and the country’s international human rights obligations, including under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.”

NBC had earlier at  a news conference in Abuja said the three stations did not exhibit professionalism in reporting the #EndSARS protest, especially the shooting at Lekki Tollgate in Lagos.

Prof. Armstrong Idachaba, director general, NBC, accused the stations of airing unverified videos of what transpired during the Lekki Tollgate protest after soldiers were said to have shot at protesters.

The stations were fined between N2 million and N3 million.

 


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NAOSRE Condemns Shooting of Unarmed Protesters at Lekki, Calls for Dialogue

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The National Association of Online Security Reporters, NAOSRE, has lent its voice to the global outcry over the unwarranted killings of innocent #End SARS protesters at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos on Tuesday.

 

In a statement issued in Lagos by Favour Benson, acting president,  the association decried the tensions that have escalated across Nigeria  in recent days as violence  flared across several cities in the country.

 

According to Benson, “After a careful analyses of the current security situation in Nigeria, NAOSRE’s empirical deduction is that aggrieved young Nigerians are protesting and agitating for a fundamental change of a clearly decadent political structure that serves only the warped political actors while the country sinks deeper into irretrievable decadence and development inertia.

 

“However, official comments and body language of government officials are not only  a mockery of democratic ethics and ethos but  an assault on democracy.

 

“Notably, NAOSRE abhors the infiltration of the patriotic protests by hoodlums who perpetrated heinous crimes under the cover of #End SARS.

 

“But the killing of innocent #End SARS protesters at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos on Tuesday stands condemned. It is more offensive to open fire on Nigerians waving the Nigerian flag.

 

“We therefore call on President Muhammadu Buhari, the Commander-in-Chief of Nigerian  Armed Forces  to, immediately,  take charge and  address the situation before it becomes full blown war.

 

“We also call on protesting Nigerians to embrace dialogue in the course of the common struggle to arrive at recognizable interests that all Nigerians can identify with,” Benson said.

 


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#EndSARS: NBC Reminds Broadcast Stations of Rules on Coverage of Crisis

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National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), has reminded broadcast stations in the country of the rules on coverage of crisis.

 #EndSARS: NBC Reminds Broadcast Stations of Rules on Coverage of Crisis

This is coming as the #EndSARS protest continues in the country.

The management of the NBC, in a statement issued in Abuja, however said it monitored with keen interest, the coverage and reportage of the on-going protest on the #EndSARS campaign and noted that broadcasters have so far been conscious of their role as gatekeepers and the fourth estate of the realm.

“In specific terms, the commission enjoined broadcasters to take definite note of the following provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code to further guide their broadcast during this challenging time:

“1.3.3 Broadcast technology enables the broadcaster to bring information on issues of concern to the audience with immediacy. In the event of a crisis, the advantages of broadcast technologies may be used, but not in a manner to aggravate the situation or adversely affect those emotionally involved;

“5.4.1 (b) At all times, ensure that the coverage of a disaster or crisis is aimed at the overall public interest, guidance and safety;

“5.4.3  In reporting conflict situations, the broadcaster shall perform the role of a peace agent by adhering to the principle of responsibility, accuracy and neutrality; and

“5.6.2 The broadcaster shall approach with restraints, the use of materials from user generated sources in order not to embarrass individuals, organisations, government or cause disaffection, incite to panic or rift in the society at large,” the NBC said.

The NBC further reiterated that broadcasters have a duty to promote the corporate existence of Nigeria, and the socio-economic well-being of the Nigerian State.

“The Commission urges all broadcasters to continue to provide efficient, professional and comprehensive service to the people based on national objectives and aspirations,” the NBC also said.


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