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Nigeria broadcast regulator fines TV service providers over BBC banditry report

Nigeria’s National Broadcasting Commission Wednesday fined a group of pay TV service providers 5 million naira each over a BBC report that it said “glorified the activities of bandits and undermines national security in Nigeria.”

The National Broadcasting Commission fined the service providers over their carriage of the BBC documentary “Bandits Warlords of Zamfara,” which it stated violated the provisions of the Nigerian Broadcasting Code, sixth edition. It also fined private TV provider Trust TV 5 million naira for airing a documentary called “Nigeria’s Banditary-The Inside Story”

The provisions allegedly contravened prohibit broadcasts that encourage or incite crime, violence, public disorder, hate, mass panic, or political and social upheaval, among other things.

“The Commission wishes to seize this opportunity to advise broadcasters to be circumspect and deliberate in the choice and carriage of contents deleterious to Nigeria’s national security,” National Broadcasting Commission said in a statement.

The media outlets have been given until August 30 to pay the fine. The Commission said that failing to do so may lead to imposition of a higher sanction. JURIST

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