We’ll not relent in sanitising media industry – NBC boss

The Director General, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Mr Balarabe Ilelah, has reaffirmed the commission’s commitment toward sanitising the nation’s media industry.

Ilelah made this known on Monday in Umuahia, while declaring open a two-day training programme for media practitioners.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the training is “The relevant message in a changing world”.

The programme was organised by Vision Africa Media Training Institute, in collaboration with Sharing International.

The BBC boss said that the peculiarity associated with the changing world, especially in the area of information dissemination,  made it necessary for the commission to ensure that quality media content is constantly disseminated to Nigerians.

He, therefore, charged media practitioners to take responsibility for the contents being aired on their medium.

He further urged them to be cautious about false news and the negative effects such materials could have on the people.

According to him, media practitioners ought to be guided by the principle of objectivity, balance and fairness in media content creation and delivery to the audience.

“We must understand that we are all gatekeepers and watchdog for society, and if we failed to curb this cancerous threat, there won’t be any society to call our own, let alone a place to live and do our job.

“Broadcast regulation is essential to ensure that broadcasting plays a pivotal role in the cultural, scientific, technological, economic and political lives of the people of Nigeria.

“On its part, the commission has over the years done a lot in ensuring that there is enthronement of social responsibility in broadcasting,” Ilelah further said.

He appealed to media practitioners to align with the commission’s agenda to promote peace, growth and national development through information dissemination.

In a speech, Gov. Alex Otti of Abia, commended the organisers of the event, saying that it would foster the needed improvement in the practice of professionalism by media workers.

Otti, represented by his Deputy, Mr Ikechukwu Emetu, said that the state government was poised to support any cause that would promote development and willing to partner the media to achieve its goal.

He said that the government was open to the use of the media to either make  suggestions or offer constructive criticisms to enable the government deliver the dividend of democracy.

In an address, the President of Vision Africa International, Dr Sunday Onuoha, said that the training was designed to help media practitioners understand the best strategies for disseminating information through conventional and online media.

Onuoha said that the goal of Vision Africa Media Training Institute was to make communication more relevant in the world.

He encouraged media practitioners to desist from diseminating information that promote anarchy.

He also advised them to practice responsible information dissemination to provide their audience with factual, objective, balance and appealing  messages.

In a remark, the President of Sharing International, Dr Chuck Pollak, described communication as a vital tool for community building which, he said, “makes it pertinent for communicators to send messages that promote unity and growth”.

Pollak said: “For communicators to be relevant we need to keep up with the audience.

“The current trend in information dissemination has made the audience to be the most important, therefore, it is the job of communicators to communicate to the diverse audience in a very responsible manner.”

In an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), some participants expressed satisfaction with the knowledge they acquired from the training, adding that it would help them to be better at their jobs.

One of them, Miss Amarachi Uche, said that the training had given her the opportunity to learn about responsible communication and to unlearn the  negative notion she had about social media.

Also, Dr Chukwuemeka Ndukwe, said that the training had given media practitioners a wholistic learning experience and equipped them with necessary skills to function effectively on conventional and online media.

(NAN)

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