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Edo guber election: NBC warns broadcasters against promoting hate speech

Edo guber election: NBC warns broadcasters against promoting hate speech
August 06
14:19 2020

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has warned journalists in Edo state against airing content that promote hate speech. 

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In a statement on Thursday, the NBC said it is monitoring the inciting and indecent comments made by politicians in the state ahead of the September 19 governorship election.

The NBC urged broadcasters to perform the role of peace agents by adhering to the principle of responsibility, accuracy and neutrality.

“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,” the government agency said.

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“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.

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“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.”

On Tuesday, while unveiling the new amendment to the 6th edition of the broadcasting code in Lagos, NBC stated that it has raised the fine for hate speech from N500,000 to N5 million.

The agency added that the licence of any broadcast organisation could be withdrawn if it pays the fine and continues to condone hate speech.

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Stakeholders have, however, criticised the new amendment to the broadcasting code, saying it will control narrative in the media.

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