NBC fines broadcasters over virus news
Nigeria’s National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has fined three Ondo State broadcast stations for code violations relating to unverifiable claims and a lack of professionalism in broadcasting news about Covid-19.
The three operators punished for their reporting on the coronavirus are Breez FM in Akure, which has been fined N250,000, Adaba FM (Akure, two N500,000 fines) and Albarika FM (Illorin, N250,000).
A further 25 stations have also been sanctioned for violating areas of the NBC code dealing with obscenity, political breaches, hate speech, unprofessionalism, advertisement, technical issues and unverifiable claims.
Armstrong Idachaba, acting director general of the NBC, said the sanctions came after the organisation’s Q1 2020 profile of broadcasting stations in the country.
He stressed the need for all broadcasters to adhere strictly to the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code and the National Broadcasting Act CAP N11 Laws of the Federation, 2004.
Meanwhile, Idachaba also offered an update on regulation relating to the digital switchover. The NBC is considering a new licence fee regime and broadcast signal distributor carriage fees for digital terrestrial television (DTT) operators.
“The new rates would affect national free-view DTT, regional free-view DTT and local free-view DTT,” he said. “The committee expects all licensed DTT operators to commence payment of the new fees, which are lower than the fees in the analogue era.”
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