Director General of Voice of Nigeria (VON DG), Mr Osita Okechukwu has cautioned Nigeria broadcast media practitioners to stick to ethical standards of the profession in order not to attract any form of punishment of punishment from the National Broadcasting Commission.
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He disclosed that more than fifty broadcast stations in the country has been sanctioned in the last two quarters of 2018 hate speech reports and violations on political broadcasting.
He specifically advised media practitioners to trade with caution and not to bend the rules as the nation gradually approaches the electioneering year.
The VON DG made the disclosure in his speech delivered at a 2-day training workshop on political broadcast holding at the BON Sunshine hotel,Enugu.
His words,”As a regulator, the National Broadcasting Commission will not idly watch, and allow the irresponsible tendency towards the abandonment of the ethical imperatives of our profession, to push the country towards a descent into crisis’.
” More than ever before, and as we approach the electioneering season that will usher in the 2019 General Elections, the Commission will ensure that broadcasters play strictly by the rules. In the last two quarters of 2018, the Commission has sanctioned over 50 broadcast stations – on violations related to political broadcasting and hate speech. Many have been fined and those who remain recalcitrant shall face stiffer sanctions”.
He said the workshop is the first in the series meant to enlighten broadcast media practitioners to be objective in their reportage,avoiding sensational reports that tends to create tensions, thereby dragging the nation into the dark ages.
“This is the background for the gathering in Enugu this week. This is the first in a series of workshops, that will also take us to Lagos, Sokoto and Abuja. We want broadcasters to be political light bearers in our country, not agents of darkness”.
Selected broadcast media practitioners from various broadcast stations both private and government owned establishments are participating in the workshop which will end today.
The workshop featured discussions and interactive sessions and paper presentations by professionals and veterans in the media industry.Among whom are Dr Alex Onyebuchi,Mrs Bunmi Cole,Prof.Armstrong ldachaba,Prof.Victor Kogah etc.