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Broadcasters ‘were reckless’ in Coverage of #EndSARS Protests – NBC

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The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) says the commission imposed sanctions on broadcast stations because they were reckless in the coverage of the #EndSARS protests.

Last month, NBC fined media houses including ARISE News, AIT, and Channels TV claiming they used unverifiable video footage from social media to cover the #EndSARS protests.

“We had to impose a sanction because we found out that in the coverage of the #EndSARS campaign that many broadcasters began to be reckless in the coverage of the crisis,” Professor Armstrong Idachaba, the Acting Director-General of the commission said when he appeared on ARISE News.

While commending the professionalism of ARISE news displayed during the coverage of the protest, Idachaba said the commission witnessed a dramatic turnaround in broadcasters reportage when the protests got violent.

“Rather than come up with facts of the issues, we began to see deliberate distortions, manipulated storylines, fake infusions and intrusions into the narrative, graphic presentations that rather than help to reduce the situation more or less aggravated.

“We saw spurious claims, misrepresentation of facts and these are in clear violation of the provision of the broadcasting code. We began to wonder at that time whether broadcasters have totally abdicated their ethical requirements,” he said.

NewsWireNGR had reported hat the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, had sanctioned Africa Independent Television, AIT, Arise Television, and Channels Television for what it described as a “gross violation of the broadcast code, top of which is the use of unverifiable online video footages on social media”.

The National Broadcasting Commission is the broadcast regulator of the Federal Republic of Nigeriathe regulatory commission had warned media houses in the country not to embarrass the government in the reportage of ENDSARS protests.

The warning was issued to the media shortly after the Lekki toll gate massacre of unarmed protesters, protesting against police brutality.

The Acting Director-General of the Commission, Armstrong Idachaba, at a press conference in Abuja on Monday, said the sanction will be a fine not less than three million (3) Naira each, totalling over nine (9) million naira.

The responsibility of the Commission is also to receive, process and consider applications for the establishment, ownership or operation of radio and television stations including cable television service, direct satellite broadcast and any other medium of broadcasting; radio and television stations owned, established or operated by the federal, state and local government; and stations run under private ownership.

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