Update: Nigeria's Broadcasting Regulator Clarifies Debacle With Channels TV
The Director of Public Affairs of Nigeria's National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Mrs Franca Aiyetan, said that Channels TV has apologised for infringing on the broadcasting code. Aiyetan further elaborated on the intention of the letter from the commission.
According to the Director, the letter sent to the TV station was part of a regulatory process called 'the bridge letter'. The letter's intent was not to suspend the station but rather, draw the station's attention to its breach of the broadcasting code. Additionally, the letter was not for public consumption.
The Director further explained that the broadcasting code was broken when the station interviewed a person who represented an organisation that the Federal Government banned. In implementing its mandate, as the regulatory body, NBC wrote a letter asking Channels TV to provide a reasonable explanation for giving airspace to a barred organisation.
Aiyetan said the station was free to write back to NBC if they felt their decision to carry the interview was not in any way against the broadcasting code. Furthermore, NBC's intention might have been misinterpreted, said the Director; however, we would like to invite the station for a dialogue so that there can be a mutual understanding between the organisations.
Broadcasting is not self-serving, explained Aiyetan; it is for society. Therefore, all programming has to be for the good of the population; if not, the persons who have acted otherwise need to be held accountable.