In a statement issued yesterday, by the Head, Public Affairs of the airwaves regulatory agency, Mrs Maimuna Jimada, the broadcast media giant earned NBC’s wrath through the “Political Platform’s episode of Tuesday, July 24, 2018” which was allegedly “marked by sensational and heated expression of opinion by its anchors, who went on to make unproven and inciting allegations.”
Director General of NBC, Mallam Is’haq Modibbo Kawu announced the sanction “following the persistent and flagrant infringement of the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code through the use of provocative, inflammatory and divisive comments by anchors on the Raypower programme, Political platform,” Mrs Jimada said.
She recalled that the Commission had, on May 2, 2017; August 15, 2017; and February 7, 2018, held meetings with staff of Daar Communications during which concerns were expressed on the unprofessional manner anchor persons had been handling the programme.
Particularly, she said the DG had charged the team on all occasions to be fair and balanced in their reportage devoid of expression of personal opinions.
“He also at the last meeting on February 7, 2018 sounded a warning to Daar Communications to ensure compliance in order to avoid stiff sanctions.”
Meanwhile, the Commission has reiterated the need for broadcasters to always abide by the rules guiding operation as enshrined in the Broadcasting Code.
Emphasis is laid on Section 1.9.3 which stipulates that “A presenter/anchor shall not express his or her personal opinion in the programme.”
Section 5.2.7 states “A broadcaster shall, in using political material for news, avoid taking inflammatory and divisive matter in its provocative form.”
Section 5.2.5 stresses “Political broadcasts shall be in decent language.”
Section 3.1.3: “The broadcaster shall recognize expression as an agent of society, therefore, he shall not use his medium for any personal or sectional rights, privileges and needs of his own, proprietor, relatives, friends or supports.” Section 3.3.2:
“A broadcaster shall acknowledge his or her own inherent biases and prejudices, and transparently rise above subjective mind-set.” Section 3.3.3: “All sides to any issue of public interest shall be equitably presented to ensure fairness and balance.”
Section 4.5.1: “No individual or organization shall be treated in an unjust or unfair manner in any programme.”
Section 5.2.18: “While a broadcast producer may interact with politicians in the course of his professional duties, this shall not be such, as to lead to the belief, that he is either a member or sympathizer of any political party.”
According to Mallam Kawu, “broadcasting stations must ensure that anchors of their programmes are well informed and properly trained on the ethics of the profession as well as the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code as the Commission would impose severe sanctions for any breach of the Broadcasting Code.”