By Henry Okonkwo
The Nigerian Guild of Editors has kicked against what they described as ‘wicked insinuation’ by the National Broadcasting Commission that Nigerian journalists support terrorists and bandits through their reportage.
The NGE insisted that they will never be disposed to giving the blood-thirsty criminals any exposure.
They also stated that giving the fact that journalists have a responsibility to help the country cope with the prevailing threat and consequences of banditry, kidnapping and terrorism in Nigeria, they will continue to be responsible and responsive in their reports.
The group stated this on Wednesday while expressing concern over the recent directive by the NBC, warning journalists, television and radio stations in Nigeria against “glamorising and giving too many details on the nefarious activities of terrorists and kidnappers” during their daily newspaper reviews.
However, in a statement by NGE’s President, Mustapha Isah, and the General Secretary, Iyobosa Uwugiaren, the group said that the directive was unhelpful, describing it as a subtle threat to free press, freedom of expression, access to information, and victims’ right to justice, which are essential to public debate and accountability in a democratic space.
The guild added that giving the consistent anti-media policy of NBC in recent times, its members are concerned about what the commission means by the expansive definitions of what may constitute “too many details”, “glamourising”, “divisive rhetoric”, and “security issues” in its directive.
“We hope it is not a ploy by NBC to ban newspaper reviews in broadcasting stations because the content of the directive doesn’t specify what kind of conduct would fall within their realm.
“It is our view that the role of independent, critical and trustworthy journalism has never been more important than now in our country,” the fuild said.