From NBC, kudos for 157 broadcasting firms on election coverage

Emeka Mba

Emeka Mba

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has commended a total of 157 broadcasting stations that, in the reckoning of the airwaves regulatory agency, have demonstrated exemplary conduct in their coverage of the presidential campaigns. Such stations, in a statement signed by Director/Head, Public Affairs of NBC, Mallam Awwalu Salihu, “demonstrated high level of professionalism showing balance and richness in their political discussion and voter education programmes.” The breakdown indicates 141 radio stations and 16 TV outlets across the country.

In the release, it is said that “recommendations from the 10 zonal offices of the commission show that Channels TV in all its locations performed exceptionally well by being balanced and fair to all parties and contestants.”

While Nigeria Info, operating in several locations, led the radio stations in “being balanced and fair to all parties and candidates in its coverage of the election.”

The analysis reflects that in Enugu and Sokoto zones, nine stations each performed well, while eight stations did well in each of Abuja, Uyo and Lagos zones. In Kaduna and Ibadan zones, seven stations each got thumb up from the commission, while 10 stations were commended in Benin zone and two in Maiduguri zone.

From the zonal reports used to do the rating by the NBC, it was noted that private broadcasting stations were largely more balanced than government-owned stations, as a result, the Commission stressed the need for all broadcasters to imbibe the ethics of the profession, especially in the area of balance and fairness during elections.

Meanwhile, the Commission had early last week released the list of broadcasting stations that breached the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting code as regards election campaigns.

Alhaji Salihu, in a statement noted that media houses in the country failed to follow the rules on the broadcast of sponsored campaign materials.

According to him, other breaches include the airing of campaign materials or programmes that promoted political parties or candidates within the 24-hour prohibited period, as well as unauthorised networking by a group of stations.

He observed that NTA breached the sensibilities rules while AIT and NTA both breached the rules on airing sponsored materials. Rima Radio, Sokoto and BSES Ekiti defaulted on denial of access.

Also 15 stations nationwide breached the code for advertising and promoting a political party after campaigns had stopped 24 hours to election time. They include Liberty TV, Liberty FM, Karama FM, Alheri FM, NTA, AIT, Rima Radio, STV Lagos, TVC Lagos, NTV, PRTV, Jos, NTA Makurdi, Vision FM and Nigeria Info.

Others were BECOS TV, NTA Jos, Gombe Media Corporation Radio FM, OSBC TV and Freedom TV Ilesha.The NBC said that all the stations had been either queried or sanctioned, according to the provisions of the legal framework guiding the operations of radio and TV operators.

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