The Acting Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission, Prof. Armstrong Idachaba, has cautioned broadcast stations in the country to independently verify the authenticity of information sourced on the social media before dissemination to the public.
The National Broadcasting Commission has warned broadcasting stations against unverified information on the social media before spreading the information to the public.
The Acting Director-General, NBC, Prof. Armstrong Idachaba, said the commission might be forced to increase the fine imposed on some broadcast stations in October 2020 due to the “unprofessional coverage” of the #EndSARS protest .
The NBC had fined Channels Television, Arise Television and Africa Independent Television N3 million each last month in which some had paid.
But Idachaba threatened to increase the fine for those who were yet to.
He said, “Stations that have been fined have already responded. Some of them have actually paid their fines. Those who have not paid their fines are in further breach of the provisions of the law because what the law clearly says is that when you are sanctioned and you do not respond within time, the regulator has the right to upgrade the sanction and it is not a pleasing option. I hope that the regulator doesn’t get there.”
He added that the NBC was not going to forgo the fine for any of sanctioned broadcast.
He said, “The matter can be only resolved when stations pay the fines. But beyond payment of fines, I will be more gratified if we have a robust free environment, one that the operator exercises his editorial liberty but not to the point of becoming the aggravator and the stimulant to mass destruction of properties.”
Idachaba said the broadcasters were “reckless” during the Lekki shootings coverage which happened on October 20, 2020.
“The point basically is that at times of national emergency and crisis, there must be extreme care and restraint.”