The President, Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE) Mustapha Isa, has said the directive from the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) on reporting of terrorist attacks in the country is vague, stating that a lot of things in the letter are unclear.
Speaking in an interview on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily on Monday, Isa said, “a lot of things are in that letter that we don’t understand.”
Also, the NGE President noted that the motive behind the letter remains unclear as it stated that it was a caution, but still went ahead to list what should not be done.
He said, “My worry about that letter is that it is vague. When you say don’t give details of security incidents, how detailed are the details? Is NBC saying for instance if there is a kidnap in a school, we shouldn’t report the name of the school, the number of students kidnapped, and the actions of security agents to rescue them?
“The media is a marketplace of ideas; some can speak for or against an idea. One clear thing is that the media will never promote violence. I think we need more clarity from NBC as regards that letter.”
Furthermore, Isa said although he was against ethnic profiling of criminals, the media will not cease to report incidents as they occur.
“I am against ethnic profiling of criminals. The media will always be patriotic. The media will not glamorise insurgency or kidnapping. We are in the business of reporting events, the media doesn’t create events,” Isa added.
The NBC had in a letter dated July 7, cautioned the media on the reportage of terrorist attacks in the country.
The letter titled, ‘Newspaper Reviews And Current Affairs Programmes: A Need For Caution’, asked stations to stop reporting the details of activities of insurgents, terrorists, kidnappers, and bandits.
The Commission maintained that while bringing information on security to the doorsteps of Nigerians is a necessity, there was a need for caution.
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