The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has called for caution during newspaper reviews on broadcast stations, saying too much detail on national security may have adverse implications on the nation.
The commission, therefore, urged broadcasters to collaborate with the federal government in dealing with the security challenges by not glamorising the nefarious activities of insurgents, terrorists, kidnappers and bandits.
In a letter addressed to broadcast stations dated July 7, a copy of which was obtained by newsmen on Friday in Abuja, signed by the director, Broadcast Monitoring, Mrs Francisca Aiyetan, also urged broadcast stations to advise guests and analysts on their programmes not to polarise the citizenry with divisive rhetoric, in driving home their point.
Aiyetan said while bringing information on security to the doorsteps of Nigerians is a necessity, there was a need for caution as too much detail may have adverse implications on the efforts of the security officials who are duty-bound to deal with the insurgency.
She also said urged broadcasters and analysts not to give details of either the security issues or victims of these security challenges so as not to jeopardise the efforts of the Nigerian soldiers and other security agents.
The letter reads in part: “The National Broadcasting Commission wishes to draw attention to critical issues arising from Review of Newspapers by Broadcast Stations daily.
“Headlines of most Newspapers on daily basis are replete with security topics.
“Some of the topics also have ethnological coating thereby, pitching one section of the country against the other and leaving Nigerians in daily hysteria.”
The commission reminded broadcast stations to be guided by the provisions of Sections 5.4.1(f) and 5.4.3 of the NB Code, which states: “The broadcaster shall not transmit divisive materials that may threaten or compromise the indivisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria as a sovereign state.
“In reporting conflict situations, the broadcaster shall perform the role of a peace agent by adhering to the principle of responsibility, accuracy, and neutrality.”