The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has warned journalists in Edo State against airing contents that promote hate speech.
NBC stated this against the background of inciting and indecent comments made by politicians in the state ahead of the September 19 governorship election, urging the media to adhere to the principle of responsibility, accuracy and neutrality in their reports.
“The National Broadcasting Commission has monitored and noted with concern, the inflammatory, inciting, and divisive comments, especially, by politicians in Edo State, who, in recent times, have threatened violence and counter violence,” it said.
“It is, therefore, expedient to remind all broadcasters covering the Election Campaign in Edo State to take note of the provisions of the extant electoral law(s), the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, and other relevant regulations guiding the broadcast of political content in Nigeria.
“In using political materials for news and current affairs programmes, avoid hate speech; inflammatory, derogatory and divisive remarks or allusions; ensure that a political broadcast is in decent language; not transmit divisive materials that may threaten or compromise the indivisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria as a sovereign state. The broadcaster shall also note that the political objectives of broadcasting mandates the broadcaster to ‘inculcate in the people, the spirit of tolerance of all shades of opinion’. The Commission, therefore, enjoins all broadcasters to desist from using or allowing its platforms and facilities to be used for the broadcast of contents that may lead to the breakdown of law and order”, it added.
On Tuesday, while unveiling the new amendment to the 6th edition of the broadcasting code in Lagos, NBC raised the fine for hate speech from N500,000 to N5million saying the licence of any broadcast organisation could be withdrawn if it pays the fine and continues to condone hate speech.
Stakeholders have, however, criticised the new amendment to the broadcasting code, saying it will control narrative in the media.