Stakeholders in Nigeria’s broadcast industry have been reminded of the urgent need to uphold the highest level of professionalism through programmes and news content in view of the current security challenges.
The Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, Is’haq Modibbo Kawu, gave the advice at the 4th edition of the summit on ‘Broadcasting and Democracy: Emerging Security Imperatives’ held in Calabar, Cross River State capital city, southern Nigeria.
Kawu, who is also a veteran broadcaster, stated: “In the context of the democratic development of our country and against the backdrop of the emergent security imperatives, broadcasting faces real challenges on how to develop programme content or design news coverage, which reflects the realities of society”.
He explained that the code provided for content to be truthful and impartial as well as provide equal access to every member of society.
“If we give ourselves the pause as Nigerian broadcasters, we would not be able to say that we have completely, properly and professionally lived up to these obligations.
“The manner that the media in general and broadcasting, in particular, have profiled, conditioned and deepened fear and prejudices, in the context of Nigeria’s emergent security challenges has been frightening,” he said.
Declaring the summit open, the Governor of Cross River State, Professor Ben Ayade commended broadcast media stakeholders for converging on Calabar to brainstorm on ways to guarantee security, unity, and peace in Nigeria through programmes and news content.
Governor Ayade decried the incessant use of social media to propagate fake news and inciting contents that encourage division among Nigerians as well as impact the nation’s economy negatively.
He urged the NBC to “impose stiffer sanctions on agencies that disseminate fake content through the social media”.
The summit featured panel discussions on the theme after the presentation by the keynote speaker and veteran broadcaster and scholar, Bello Sule.