Broadcasters want action on hate speech


Broadcasters rose from a two-day meeting in Enugu on Wednesday and appealed to the regulatory agency, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), to partner other agencies to solve the problem of hate and dangerous speeches.

The broadcasting stakeholders were particularly concerned with the impact of hate speeches during the general elections.

In a communiqué issued at the end of the on political broadcasting, they underscored the need for more capacity development programmes to address the challenges of hate and dangerous speeches.

The theme of the workshop was “Media Coverage of 2015 Elections: Challenges, Regulatory Framework and the Way Forward for a More Democratic Society’’.

The communiqué noted the need for NBC and National Orientation Agency to package broadcast jingles to denounce hate and dangerous speeches.

It said that broadcasters should use their programmes to unite the society rather than being used to fan the embers of disunity and societal chaos.

It urged broadcast media practitioners to be objective and as impartial as possible at all times and strive to promote the interest of the people above that of media owners.

It also advised broadcast media owners to give their operatives the needed support for professional excellence and expose their staff to technicalities in political campaigns and elections coverage.

“The NBC should strengthen its enforcement mechanism to ensure compliance with electoral laws, broadcasting code and other laws and guidelines on electoral coverage.

“NBC should organise more workshops on political coverage as well as carry out more research to address issues affecting growth and development of the broadcast industry.

“There is the need to strengthen the online registration rules to ensure that those who wish to promote news web-sites will provide evidence that they have the professional experience to operate them responsibly.’’

The communique stated that professionals with requisite experience should be made heads or operating managers of broadcast stations in the country.

It advised broadcasters to effectively utilise the SMS platforms instead of phone-ins for public contributions on sensitive issues.

The communiqué advocated for adequate insurance cover for broadcast journalists, to facilitate objective coverage and electioneering reportage.

The communiqué was signed by the NBC Director-General, Malam Modibbo Kawu and five other rapporteurs — Dr Chibuike Ogwumike, Mr. Raphael Akpan, Mrs Nonye Obuna-Edeh, Mr. Yunusa Nari-Rikoto and Malam Ladan Mohammed.

credit: NAN