Media Chiefs to NBC: We won’t stop reporting terrorist attacks
Heads of the country’s media have stated that the Federal Government Directive would not deter the media from disclosing the “details” in their reports of bandits, terrorists, and kidnappers.
The President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, Mustapha Isah; the National President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Chris Isiguzo; and the Executive Director, Centre for Media Law and Advocacy, Richard Akinnola; made this known in separate interviews with Saturday PUNCH on Friday.
The journalists say activities are being reported and no events are being created.
The President’s regime, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), was encouraged to address the safety challenges in the country and to refrain from attempting to gag the media through information and culture minister Lai Mohammed.
The veterans of the media reacted to the National Broadcasting Commission’s directive that TV and radio stations in Nigeria should not ‘glamorize the insurgents’ harmful activities’ in a journal review.
Broadcast stations in Nigeria review newspaper headlines daily before their breakfast shows.
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But the NBC, in a letter dated July 7, 2021, issued to television and radio stations, stressed the need for “caution” by broadcasters while reporting security challenges in the country.
The letter titled, ‘Newspaper Reviews And Current Affairs Programmes: A Need For Caution’, was signed by the Director, Broadcast Monitoring, Francisca Aiyetan, on behalf of the new Director-General of the Commission, Balarabe Ilelah.
A copy of the letter obtained by Saturday PUNCH, partly reads, “Headlines of most newspapers on a daily basis are replete with security topics. While bringing information on security to the doorsteps of Nigerians is a necessity, there is a need for caution as too many details may have an adverse implication on the efforts of our security officials who are duty-bound to deal with the insurgency.
“The commission, therefore, enjoins broadcasters to collaborate with the government in dealing with the security challenges by;
“Not glamourising the nefarious activities of insurgents, terrorists, kidnappers, bandits, etc.
“Advising guests and/or analysts on programmes not to polarise the citizenry with divisive rhetoric, in driving home their point.
“Not giving 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.”
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