— 1min read
This was contained in a warning letter written to broadcasting stations by the Director of Broadcast Monitoring Francisca Aiyetan on July 7, 2021.
The letter, which was seen by The ICIR on Friday, enjoined broadcasters to collaborate with the Federal Government in dealing with the security challenges by not amplifying the nefarious activities of insurgents, terrorists, kidnappers and bandits.
She also urged broadcast stations to advise guests and analysts on their programmes not to polarise the citizenry with divisive rhetoric, in driving home their point.
Aiyetan said while bringing information on security to the doorsteps of Nigerians was a necessity, there was a need for caution as too much detail might have adverse implications on the efforts of the security officials who were duty-bound to deal with the insurgency.
She urged broadcasters and analysts not to give 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 National Broadcasting Commission wishes to draw attention to critical issues arising from Review of Newspapers by Broadcast Stations daily,” the letter read in part.
“Headlines of most Newspapers on daily basis are replete with security topics.
“Some of the topics also have ethnological coating thereby, pitching one section of the country against the other and leaving Nigerians in daily hysteria.”
The commission reminded broadcast stations to be guided by the provisions of sections 5.4.1(f) and 5.4.3 of the NB Code, which stated that “The broadcaster shall not transmit divisive materials that might threaten or compromise the indivisibility 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.”