One of the major news headlines yesterday was the report about the suspension of popular Nigerian television station, Channels TV by the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC).
However, the NBC has come out to clear all the misconceptions in the public domain as the corporation has denied suspending the TV station.
According to the corporation, they only gave the TV station a warning after their broadcast of an interview with a leader of an outlawed group, IPOB.
Immediately after the interview, the agency released a letter that was signed by its Director-General Armstrong Idachaba. The statement partly reads;
“For obviously breaching the above provisions of the Law, your station remains liable to sanctions provided in section 15 of the Code which prescribes among others – suspension of broadcast license and a fine of 5 million.”
Many Nigerians took the above statement as a suspension notice, however, the commission’s Public Affairs Director, Franca Aiyetan who spoke to Premium Times as clarified things.
In her submission, she said;
“It is actually mischievous that it comes on air and what the letter was saying was calling Channels attention to a particular programme that the commission felt was not handled professionally or ethically and calling their attention to the gravity of the offence. The quote says if you do this you are likely to be shut down with a fine and afterwards it says desist from that programme. It didn’t say stop that programme.
The letter was drawing their attention to the gravity of the program they held and they were advised to take it or stop it.
It was not a malicious thing. It was hype; you can see that Channels is still up carrying some of NBC’s programs. It is hyped because of the tension in the society and NBC is saying that the duty of journalism, especially broadcasting stations, is to douse this tension rather than heightening it. That is what ethics say.
That was exactly what happened during the #EndSARS protests but some stations maliciously went on to say they were fined because they covered the #EndSARS protest.
They were not fined because they covered the protest but because they hyped the violence that followed. When you show violence as happened in Kano or Rivers, the people in Kogi and Lagos will follow suit, and every day you show us new violence before you know it everyone will be frightened.
We are saying you can help us to douse it rather than hyping it.”