The Federal Government through its agency, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), has sanctioned three broadcast stations over alleged “unprofessional coverage” of the #EndSARS protests.
The stations — Channels Television, Arise Television and Africa Independent Television (AIT) were fined between N2million and N3million for their reporting particularly on the shooting of armless protesters by soldiers at the Lekki tollgate, an incident which left nine persons dead.
They were accused of airing “unverified images of alleged shooting”.
Prof. Armstrong Idachaba, acting Director-General of the NBC, announced the sanction while addressing a press conference in Abuja on Monday.
Recall that the NBC had last week warned all television and radio stations against reporting the #EndSARS protests in a manner that could embarrass the government or private individuals or cause disaffection, incite to panic or rift in the society.
In a statement signed by the NBC management, broadcast stations were urged to remember the code which forbids them from airing some incidents.
The NBC said it has been watching with keen intrest the coverage of the event by broadcast stations so far.
It though commended them of their gatekeeping roles so far but still went ahead to list areas of interests.
”In specific terms, the Commission enjoined Broadcasters to take definite note of the following provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code to further guide their broadcast during this challenging time:
“Broadcast technology enables the Broadcaster to bring information on issues of concern to the audience with immediacy. In the event of a crises, the advantages of broadcast technologies may be used but not in a manner to aggravate the situation or adversely affect those emotionally involved;
“At all times, ensure that the coverage of a disaster or crisis is aimed at the overall public interest, guidance and safety;” it added.
See The NBC Letter: