Press freedom: We won’t stop summoning media houses if… – NBC

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has vowed to continue to summon journalists and media organisations that violate broadcasting codes and ethics.

The Director General, Balarabe Ilelah, who spoke when members of the Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ) led by its president, Chris Isiguzo, visited the commission’s ofºfices said the commission was not out to stifle freedom of the press but added that the ethics must be respected.

He said this when members of the Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ) led by its president, Chris Isiguzo, visited the commission’s office in Abuja.

“As leaders of your various reputable and responsible organisation, I want you to tell your members that nobody is above the law. All of us must live within the coverage of the law and we must be held accountable. Journalism is a profession that has ethics, we are supposed to operate within the ethics of the profession. You came to the commission based on some reports from the social media. As a journalist, I know that news coming from social media are not verified and normally when you get information from anywhere, you need to verify the source of the news. But when the news had no source and then you went again and keep on spreading the news, that is not journalism. We are going to keep on fighting people that are spreading fake news, the commission will not be scared and will keep on summoning anyone who goes contrary to NBC code,” he said.

Ilelah said that NBC mandate is to regulate and work with media houses, to sanitise the industry and to make sure that things are done according to the law.

“NBC is not here to suppress press freedom, but to guide the press. Our duty is to make sure that everybody is given a fair playing ground so that you can say whatever you want to say that is according to the law,”  he said.

NUJ president said for democracy to be considered good, there must be a media that operates without unnecessary encumbrances.

‘“You must have a media, which, of course, remains the middle man between the government and the governed. That media must at all times operate without harassment, incessant harassment, intimidations, frequent queries, summons, arrests and what have you.”

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