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INFLUENCE OF NBC IN MONITORING THE PERFORMANCE OF BROADCAST MEDIA IN NIGERIA

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ABSTRACT: The primary objective of this study was to investigate the influence of NBC in monitoring the performance of broadcast industry in Nigeria. In this research, African Independent Television (AIT) is being studied on how they make their operation conform to the regulation guiding them. This study was anchored on Social Responsibility Theory. A quantitative research design was used in which a cross-sectional survey research method was adopted while the data collection instrument was questionnaire. The respondents were selected using purposive sampling technique. Equally, the data were analyzed using descriptive statistics (frequency and percentage method)while the collected data were presented with the aid of tables. Findings indicated that NBC operations often affected AIT which usually led to indecent banning of AIT or some of its programme, such as the banned that occurred immediately President Mohammdu Bahari was swore-in in 2015 over documentaries it air titled Real Buhari and Lion of the Budelioun. The study thus, recommended that NBC should endeavour to give room to the fair hearing in their rules and regulation as well as sanction where appropriate with favour. 


Table Of Contents

Title Page                                                                                –                                  

Declaration

Certification

Acknowledgement

Abstract

Table Of Contents

Chapter One: Introduction

1.1  Background Of Study

1.2  Statement Of Problem

1.3  Objectives Of Study

1.4  Research Questions

1.5  Significance Of Study

1.6  Scope Of Limitation

1.7  Research Method

1.8  Operational Definitions Of Terms

Chapter Two: Review Of Related Literature

2.1       Introduction 

2.2       Self – Regulation

2.3       Watchdog Role Of The National Broadcasting Commission

2.4       Court Cases

2.5       Arbitration

2.6       Foreign Reports

2.7       Commercialization

2.8       Professionalism

2.9       Enforcing The Code

3.0       Watchdog Of The NBC

3.1       Theoretical Framework

Chapter Three: Research Methodology

3.3       Introduction

3.4       Sources Of Data Collection

3.5       Population Of The Study

3.6       Sample And Sampling Procedure

3.7       Instrument For Data Collection

3.8       Validation of The Research Instrument

3.9       Method of Data Analysis

Chapter Four: Presentation Analysis Interpretation of Data

4.1       Intruction

4.2       Data Analysis

Chapter Five: Summary Conclusion Recommendation

5.1    Introduction

5.2       Summary

5.3       Conclusion

5.4       Recommendation

5.5       Reference


CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1     BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

The period of Broadcast deregulation of the year 1992 and the establishment of broadcast regulator, National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, resulted in the emergence and proliferation of broadcast media stations all over the country. This expansion of the broadcast media and broadcasters raised concerns over the quality and content of what is being broadcasted to the public. Today, broadcasters in Nigeria are largely being accused in several cases of unprofessional and unethical misconducts over the years in course of their practices.

Cases of unregulated political programmes and other unethical commercials, violation of human rights, interference of politicians in broadcasting stations, unbalanced reporting, inciting crimes and serious misdemeanor, biased reporting and much more have filled the airwaves used by the Nigerian broadcasters. According to Idemudia (2008:132-151), mass media, being a part of society have been polluted by the prevailing societal ills, such as corruption, bribery and grafts. The broadcast media stations in specific have derailed from enlightening the public because of monetization of their services.

Right from the inception, the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, was established and empowered by the Decree No. 38 of 1992 as amended by the NBC (Amendment) Decree No. 55 of 1999 with the mission to evolve defined standards, in all aspects of broadcasting, to effectively license, monitor and regulate an environment that encourages investment and development of quality programming and technology for a viable industry, which competes favorably in the Global Information Society.

National Broadcasting Commission however seems to be very weak in arresting the broadcasting situation in the country upon all the power given to it by the law.  The human society we live in is that of law and ethics, control and regulations. In essence therefore, the legal maxim ‘ubi societas ibijus’ (where there is society, there is law) stresses this fact. Laws, standards, guidelines and rules promote ethics while ethical principles reinforce the pillar of the law (Okoro, 1998:174). Therefore, no organized society in the world can exist with it citizens carrying out their normal functions without rules and regulations. In the absence of law and order, there will be chaos and anarchy.

There is a universal acceptance that the airwaves formed within the air space above the territorial boundaries of any nation are a bonfires property of that country. Therefore, often government and other designated agencies are charged with regulating the airwaves so as to ensure that they benefit the nation as a whole now and in the future. Ume- Nwagbo. E. (1995 : 15) citing (Head 1976:5) affirms that: No country can afford to leave so powerful and persuasive an avenue of public communication completely unregulated without shaping it to some degree in accord with public policy and national interest.

Again, broadcasting which invites legal controls because of the need to prevent interference and also for the efficient use of the spectrum for the public interest and to manage its potential for social control, is regulated the world over usually by an agency of government. In this case, it is the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) (Ogor, 2002 :78). Broadcasting, due to its delicate, spontaneous and ubiquitous nature, demonstrates awesome power in shaping society. It has been described in varied terms. In economic terms, broadcasting serves as a compass that helps in indicating the fluctuations in stocks, shares and other indices. In social life, it is a veritable instrument for shaping social and family values across generations. In politics’, it remains a sine qua non In Conveying messages to and from voters and a vehicle of agenda legitimization, sometimes of outright campaign by nations.

Frequencies which all the broadcast stations use to convey messages are, therefore, closely and scrupulously monitored and regulated in the public interest. Bako, 2002). Among the different media of mass communication, the broadcast media have always been a source of worry to governments. One major reason for government control of broadcasting is based on the fact that the air waves (electromagnetic spectrum) are a scarce public resource. It is argued that this resource should be controlled and allocated by the government in the way best suitable for serving the public good (Okunna, 1999: 77). Odunewu, (1996: 285), while discussing the need for the press to embrace self-regulation, cited from the works of legendary.

Mahatma Gandhi of India that “the Press is a great power but, just as an unchained torrent submerges the whole countryside and devastate crops, an uncontrolled broadcast serves but to destroy. It can be more profitable when control is exercised from within the profession”. Furthermore, for the broadcast media to remain relevant in the lives of Nigerians, it needs to be regulated in one way or the other for the benefit of the generality of the public. Ugboajah (1987: 155) contends that public interest in broadcasting is not a myth and cited Dennis (1974) in support of position that “Government regulation of certain communication activities affected with public interest ‘is actually in public interest”.

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Today, broadcasters are largely being accused in several cases of unprofessional and unethical misconducts over the years in course of their practices. Cases of unregulated political programmes and other unethical commercials, violation of human right, interference of politicians in broadcasting stations, unbalanced reporting, inciting crimes and serious misdemeanor, biased reporting and much more have filled the airwaves used by the Nigerian broadcasters.

According to Idemudia (2008:132-151), “mass media, being a part of society have been polluted by the prevailing societal ills, such as corruption, bribery and grafts. The broadcast media stations in specific have derailed from enlightening the public because of monetization of their services”. Furthermore, Yellow Journalism which Donald and Jim (1986:10) defined as “unethical and irresponsible brand of journalism given to hoaxes, altered photographs, screaming headline, scoops, fraud, and endless promotion of self”, has been the habit of most of the journalists in Nigeria. This, as asserted by Samson (2008), calls for serious attention.                                                   

Broadcast stations are always accused of such violation of what is called standards of broadcasting in Nigeria, and the NBC is thought to be weak in calling them into order. A contemporary example during the Nigeria’s 2003 general electioneering campaign, the National Broadcasting Commission (NTA) was said to violate the law provision of the National Broadcasting Commission which compels mass media to give equal chances to political oppositions for political advertisement. Section 7.6.5 of the NBC code (2012) says “no broadcaster shall deny any person, party or group a right of broadcast of a political advertisement”. The then PDP Candidate, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, was given a full coverage and refused the same for ANPP presidential candidate, Muhammad Buhari. The commission could not enforce that law to arrest the situation.

The National Broadcasting Commission Code also allows for ten percent (10%) airing of religious programmes “notwithstanding the above, religious broadcast shall not exceed 10% of the total weekly airtime of any broadcaster” (Section 4.3.1 (i) NBC 2012). However, during the year 2008, about forty six percent (46%) of the Radio Kano AM programmes were religious, most especially during the Ramadan Period. The situation continued like that and NBC could not enforce the law to stop the station from broadcasting the excesses.

Similarly, every day as one tune to his radio stations, he tends to listen to some traditional medicine sellers advertising medicine for serious diseases like HIV/AIDS, Gonorrhea and so on. In Freedom Radio and Radio Kano for example, Islamic medical centers like Dan-Fodiyo and Ibrahim Khalil Centre of Islamic Medicine are regularly aired with such information. Section 7.3.5 of the NBC Code (2012) says: “an advertisement shall not be broadcast if it contains an offer of a medicine or product, or an advice relating to the treatment of serious diseases, complaints, conditions, indications or symptoms, which should rightly receive the attention of a registered medical practitioner”.

These “broadcasting situations” motivated this study and prompted the researchers to investigate the extent to which NBC regulates broadcasting in the country and why it has been so difficult for the Commission to enforce laws for the betterment of broadcasting in the country? The study extended to the investigating of whether NBC faced some challenges of enforcement and how to rectify such challenges.

1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

This research generally aims at find out how the National Broadcasting Commission has been performing its statutory role since inception. Specifically, the study is meant to find out the following:

  1. The extent the National Broadcasting Commission has been able to perform its monitoring role as a watchdog of the broadcast industry.
  2. The extent of compliance of the various broadcast stations with the NBC code of conduct.
  3. To know the extent of awareness about the National Broadcasting Commission among broadcasters in Nigeria.
  4. To identify challenges that the National Broadcasting Commission faced to enforce broadcast regulations.

1.4. RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The study seeks to answer the following questions:

  1. To what extent the broadcasters are aware of the National Broadcasting Commission as broadcast regulator in Nigeria?
  2. What are the challenges that the National Broadcasting Commission faced in enforcing media regulations in Nigeria?
  3. How can the National Broadcasting Commission overcome the challenges of enforcing media regulations in Nigeria

1.5. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY:

Since the emergence of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) about ten years ago, few studies have been documented empirically on the role of this organization as the nation’s broadcast media regulator. This study draws its uniqueness from the concerted effort to evaluate the role of the National Broadcasting Commission in controlling the broadcast media in Nigeria. This is with a view to properly and empirically document the findings unlike other efforts which are mainly reported in conference papers, newspaper articles or in-house publications.

Furthermore, this study will help encourage further research in the area because there is still a lot of gap to be filled. This study is an added knowledge and insight to issues of broadcast regulations in Nigeria. It would therefore, also provide useful reference material for lecturers and students of mass communication, researchers as well as media practitioners, especially main-stream broadcasters.

Finally, the study will also be useful in providing a database for mass communication policy makers so that better policies formulated to enhance the performance of the NBC. It would also serve as a guide to all stakeholders in the industry.

1.6. SCOPE AND LIMITATION

For a study of this nature, the researcher has been constrained in the following ways:

(1) The limited resources and time for this kind of study would not allow for gathering of adequate data from the entire newspaper houses, advertising agencies and radio/television houses in Nigeria. This has also constrained the researcher from using a combination of methods of data collection for the study.

(2) It is expected that by the purposive sampling method employed for the study, the respondents actually know about the deregulation of the broadcast industry and the role of the NBC.

The survey method employed as one of the methodologies of the research is limited to studying the broadcast media workers in Cross River State for the fact of their proximity to the researcher’s environment.

​1.7. OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS

Critical Appraisal: According to the Thesaurus Dictionary (1998: 128) Critical Appraisal means evaluation, judgment, estimate and assessment. For the purpose of this study, critical appraisal means thorough evaluation and examination to judge the performance or to find out desirable or undesirable development within the broadcast industry in Nigeria.

National Broadcasting Commission (NBC): This means the National Broadcasting Commission. It is the official regulatory organ of the government established to monitor, supervise and regulate the broadcast industry in Nigeria.

Controlling: The Thesaurus Dictionary (1998: 116) defines control as Command, management, mastery, regulation, direction, sway, rule, dominion, domination, jurisdiction, authority, supervision, and charge. However, in this study, controlling of the broadcast industry will only mean regulation, management, direction, supervision, authority, charge, setting of rules and standards to sanitize the industry.

Performance: This means discharge, accomplishment, execution, transaction, fulfillment, attainment, conduct, effect ration and achievement of the operators of the broadcast industry according to the standards and guidelines set by the NBC.

Broadcast Industry: This refers to the public and private radio and television stations, including cable television services, direct satellite broadcast and any other medium of broadcasting in Nigeria.


WHAT TO EXPECT: (Format: MS WORD, Chapter 1-5, Abstract, Table of Contents, Questionnaire and References)


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