THREE reputable media organisations in Nigeria have been sanctioned by the authority for their ‘role’ in the #EndSARS protests.
Arise TV, African Independent Television – AIT, and Channels Television, were accused by the National Broadcasting Commission – NBC, for allegedly contributing to the escalation of violence during the nationwide protests.
According to Acting Director General of the NBC, Prof. Armstrong Idachaba, who announced the sanction, Arise TV, AIT and Channels Television aired ‘unverified images’ of alleged shooting during the protests.
The commission – a parastatal of the Federal Government of Nigeria, vested with the responsibilities of regulating and controlling the broadcasting Industry in the country, fined the three media houses between N2 million and N3 million.
“In line with the provisions of Section 5.6.9 of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, which states that ‘the broadcaster shall be held liable for any breach of the Code emanation from the use of material from User Generated Sources’, the commission has, therefore, sanctioned Arise TV, Channels TV and AIT, in line with the provisions of the broadcasting Code,’’ the NBC Acting Director General said.
Prof. Idachaba warned that the stations would have their operating licenses suspended if they did not desist from the alleged act.
“This is to serve as deterrent to broadcasters who deliberately ignore to verify stories before they broadcast,” he said.
NBC however, urged broadcasters to always ensure the veracity and authenticity of their sources, especially if they were User Generated or social media sources.