The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has admonished the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to refrain from its consistent anti-media policies and allow Nigerian journalists to do their work.
NGE said with the NBC recent churning out of such policies, its members were concerned about what the commission means by the expansive definitions of what may constitute ‘’too many details’’, ‘’glamourising’’, ‘’divisive rhetoric’’, and ‘’security issues’’ in its directive to broadcast stations.
The Guild said Nigerian journalists, especially its members, are not terrorists and bandits’ best friends, and will never be disposed to giving the bloodthirsty criminals any exposure.
It said this is against the terrific insinuation by the NBC, warning journalists, television and radio stations in Nigeria against “glamourising and giving too many details on the nefarious activities of terrorists and kidnappers” during their daily newspaper reviews.
The editors in a statement signed by its president, Mustapha Isah and general secretary, Iyobosa Uwugiaren, and made available to LEADERSHIP yesterday in Abuja, said given the fact that journalists have a responsibility to help the country cope with the prevailing threat and consequences of banditry, kidnapping and terrorism in Nigeria, they will continue to be responsible and responsive in their reports.
The professional group of all the editors in the nation while expressing concern over the recent directive by the NBC, said that the directive is unhelpful, describing it as a subtle threat to free press, freedom of expression, access to information, and victims’ right to justice, which are essential to public debate and accountability in a democratic space.
“We hope it is not a ploy by the NBC to ban newspapers review in broadcasting stations. Because the content of the directive doesn’t specify what kind of conduct would fall within their realm.
“It is our view that the role of independent, critical, and trustworthy journalism has never been more important than now in our country,’’ the guild said.