Pro-Buhari group applauds NBC for wielding big stick against three TV stations

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The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has applauded the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) for sanctioning three broadcast media stations in the country adjudged to have violated the broadcasting code in reporting the #EndSARS protests.

Each TV station was fined N3million by NBC

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In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, BMO said sanctioning the media houses that breached extant regulatory guidelines and contributed to the escalation of the crisis with the attendant loss of lives, sends a strong and unambiguous message to the broadcast industry in Nigeria.

“There can be no justification for Channels Television, Arise TV, and AIT to transmit footage obtained from unverified and unauthenticated social media sources. This amateurish conduct by these indicted stations not only fell short of professional expectations, by their conduct they incited the youth to more violent behaviour and helped create a self-serving justification for the humungous looting spree gripping many parts of the country presently.

“We commend the NBC for exercising obvious strong regulatory surveillance over the broadcast industry and encourage the Commission to continue in this line.”

BMO noted that by holding the broadcast stations liable for their breach of the code emanating from the use of material from User Generated Sources, the NBC has sent out a signal that broadcast journalism requires practitioners to continuously imbibe a high sense of social responsibility and place truthfulness at the core of their professional judgment.

“We commend the management of NBC for coming out to enforce the national broadcasting code with a sense of urgency and fairness, and without fear or favour. By this action, it has reassured the Nigerian public that the national airwaves will not degenerate into a jungle affair where unverified and inciting footage, or the half-truths peddled by demagogues are permitted on national television, to inflame tensions in the country.

“The NBC sanction is appropriate and timely. Media gatekeepers have an added responsibility, especially in times of crisis, to validate the news and footage they transmit to the public. This is more so for the broadcast industry which has over the years enjoyed a high level of credibility among the public as an authoritative and reliable purveyor of information. By not sanctioning these erring broadcast stations, NBC would be abetting the festering of a culture of impunity and professional laxity in a critical media platform.

“The sanctioned broadcast stations should therefore accept their punishment in good faith and toe the path of professional rectitude and social responsibility. The media have a role to de-escalate tension and promote peace and national harmony. It is not out of place to remind the management of Channels Television, Arise TV, and AIT of the age-long journalistic ethos – verify and double-check all news before airing; and when in doubt, do not air or share.

“We also firmly believe that this courageous decision of NBC will nudge the Nigerian broadcast industry to an era of responsible editorial decision-making and regulatory conformity. That will ultimately improve public confidence in the broadcast media and justify the faith and privileges invested in the media by the framers of our National Constitution.

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