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NBC threatens BBNaija over breach of broadcast code

The National Broadcasting Commission has warned the organizers of Big Brother Naija over ‘unwholesome’ contents that breach its code shared on TV channels where the reality show is aired.

NBC Director General Mallam Ishaq Kawu, during a press conference in Abuja also revealed that 45 broadcasting stations were fined in the second quarter of 2019 for breaching its rule of broadcast.

According to Kawu, most of the TV stations were fined between April to June 2019 over their political programmes.

A breakdown of the offences, which were allegedly committed between April and June, according to Kawu, include breaching broadcasting code on hate speech, use of vulgar lyrics and obscene content.

Kawu berated African Independent Television (AIT) for defying all actions to ensure compliance with the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.

Sections of the breached codes are: Section 1.16.1(f): The law of contempt, relating to matter pending before law court’s, and Section 5.1.12: News and current affairs programme shall be guided by the ethical standards of journalism.

 Kaduna Zone recorded the highest in obscenity, while Abuja Zone topped the chart in hate speech.

In the area of unverified claims, the Ibadan Zone recorded the highest.

On fines meted out to the errant stations, Abuja Zone recorded the highest with 47.17 per cent, Ibadan Zone came second with 15.09 per cent and Benin came third with 13.22 per cent while the lowest was Enugu Zone with 1.89 per cent.

Forty-five stations were fined in the first quarter of the year for similar offences.

Addressing reporters on the second quarter monitoring of broadcast stations’ profile, Kawu said: “Coming shortly after the National and State Elections in the first quarter of the year, the report indicates that though there is a drop in breaches related to hateful, abusive and inflammatory broadcast, which peaked during the elections, and for which as many as 45 stations were fined, the second quarter indicates that the trend has continued among certain stations, especially in political programmes.

“Therefore, 20 stations were fined in the second quarter for breaching provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code on hate speech.

“Other breaches were in the area of Obscene and Vulgar Lyrics – 10 stations were fined for infractions related to use of vulgar lyrics and obscene content. It is worth mentioning that the programme, Big Brother Naija (BBN4) was cautioned against unwholesome content on its broadcast.

“Use of unsubstantiated and misleading claims by advertisers, especially trado-medic advertising, also dropped significantly from the last quarter, but a total of 30 stations were fined for infractions related to same.

“Ten broadcast stations were fined for breaches related to station announcers turning themselves into advertisers, hypers and promoters of products.”

On AIT, Kawu said: “Our monitoring activities indicate that some stations, especially AIT, are deliberately meddling in the cases before the election tribunal. It is trite knowledge that the media cannot comment on or discuss the details of any matter in court. The Broadcast Code in Section 1.16.1(f) requires all broadcasters to comply with the law of contempt relating to matters pending before the law courts.”

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