Introduction: REGULATION OF BROADCAST MEDIA
The regulation of broadcast media organizations in Nigeria, both formal and informal, has been subject to criticism for a variety of reasons.
The formal regulation of broadcast media in Nigeria is largely carried out by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC). However, the NBC has been accused of lacking independence and being heavily influenced by political authorities, particularly in relation to the enforcement of codes and regulations. This has led to accusations of censorship and the suppression of free speech, particularly in cases where the government feels threatened by critical reporting (Innocent and Uzoma, 2013).
Furthermore, the NBC has been criticized for being inconsistent in its enforcement of regulations, leading to confusion among broadcasters and the public. For example, in 2020, the NBC fined some television stations for their coverage of the #EndSARS protests while allowing others to continue to report on the protests without sanctions, leading to accusations of bias.
Informal regulation of broadcast media in Nigeria takes the form of pressure from political authorities and other powerful individuals or groups, including advertisers and sponsors. This pressure can lead to self-censorship by broadcasters, who may be reluctant to air content that could offend or upset those in power or jeopardize advertising revenue (Innocent and Uzoma, 2013). The result of such informal regulation is often a lack of diversity of voices and perspectives on the airwaves, which can stifle public debate and limit the ability of citizens to hold those in power accountable.
Overall, the regulation of broadcast media organizations in Nigeria, both formal and informal, has been criticized for its lack of independence and consistency, as well as its potential to limit free speech and diversity of voices. These issues must be addressed if Nigeria is to have a vibrant, free, and fair media landscape that serves the public interest.
Innocent, P. I. and Uzoma, C. O. (2013). Broadcasting Regulation and Broadcasting In Nigeria: an Overview of the Approaches. Research on Humanities and Social Sciences, 3 (2), 12