Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, stated on Thursday that some broadcast media stations have paid the fine imposed by the Federal Government for broadcasting the #EndSARS protest.
The minister says the sanctions imposed on some broadcast media stations in the aftermath of the #EndSARS protests were justified.
He stated that two of stations paid their fines in full, while the third paid a part of the fine, with an appeal for time to pay the balance.
“In the aftermath of the EndSARS crisis, the NBC fined three broadcast stations for using unverified and dangerous information from the social media.
“Commentators, many of whom didn’t even know why the NBC imposed the fine, rushed to allege an attempt to stifle free speech.
“Unknown to them, the stations themselves knew that they breached the Broadcast Code.
“It is sad to see the traditional media jettisoning the age-long gate-keeping process and instead rushing to rely on the free-wheeling social media, devoid of any gatekeeping, for news,’’ he said.
Mohammed stressed that the fines imposed on the stations by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) were not only justified, but that the NBC was indeed lenient.
He also condemned the emerging trend in which traditional media freely used materials from social media sources without taking the pains to verify their authenticity.
Recall that the NBC fined Channels Television, AIT and Arise TV N3 million each on Oct. 26 over their unprofessional coverage of the #EndSARS protest and the crises that followed it.