The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has announced that it will henceforth sanction broadcast stations over messages that “insult” Nigerian leaders and elders.
In the letter dated August 3 and signed by Chibuike Ogwumike, the zonal director of the NBC Lagos office, broadcast stations were warned against such messages from guests during their programmes.
Ogwumike who referred broadcasters to sections of the NBC code that provides for “professional rules” against content that “denigrates the social norms, values and culture of the society”, added that holding government and leaders accountable “must not be done in abusive language”.
The statement read;
“Monitoring activities indicate that in recent time, some broadcast stations have abdicated their editorial responsibilities such that guests and callers on programmes abuse and insult leaders and those in authority freely and without caution.
“May I please draw your attention to the following provisions of the Broadcasting Code: Section 3.1.: Professional Rules: 3.1.1: No broadcast shall encourage or incite to crime, lead to public disorder or hate, be repugnant to public feelings or contain an offensive reference to any person or organization, alive or dead or generally be disrespectful to human dignity.
“Also, 3.1.19: The broadcast shall not transmit content that denigrates the social norms, values and culture of the society.
“To denigrate our elders and leaders in abusive terms is not our culture. We respect our leaders as a positive cultural value,” it added.
“We expect Broadcasters, especially anchors to show professionalism in the handling of programmes such that guests or callers that exhibit such tendency are professionally handled.
“The recourse to abusing, denigrating and insulting the President, Governors, MPs and other leaders does not show us as cultured people.”