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COMMUNIQUE DRAWN AT THE 5TH EDITION OF THE NATIONAL BROADCASTING COMMISSION/ YEMI SONDE BROADCAST

  • November 14, 2017
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COMMUNIQUE DRAWN AT THE 5TH EDITION OF THE NATIONAL BROADCASTING COMMISSION/ YEMI SONDE BROADCAST MEDIA STAKEHOLDERS’ FORUM HELD ON TUESDAY OCTOBER 24, 2017 AT THE TRENCHARD HALL, UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN, IBADAN, OYO STATE.

 

Introduction

The National Broadcasting Commission and Yemi Sonde Entertainment Limited jointly organized a one-day broadcast media stakeholder’s forum with the theme: Quality content in Digital era: A regulator’s perspective.

Over 656 participants were in attendance. Participation cut across the private, public, campus/community broadcasting stations, print media, media consultants and Independent producers.

Mr. Yemi Sonde, in his welcome address hinted that the partnership between his organization and the National Broadcasting Commission was birthed ten years ago as a biennial event, to provide a platform where broadcast stakeholders would rub minds together concerning issues affecting the industry in Nigeria. The 5th edition is another opportunity for content producers to evaluate their key roles in digital broadcasting as encapsulated in the following topics: The Family: Content Production and Challenges, by Mrs. ‘Bunmi Cole; Digitization, Benefits and Public Expectations: Your Right to Quality Broadcasting by Hajiya. Maimuna Jimada; Regulating Digital Broadcasting in Nigeria, by Dr. Armstrong Idachaba and Broadcasting as a tool for language Development in a Digital Era, by Mr. Ambrose Somide.

Setting the tone, the Director-General, Mallam Is’haq Modibbo Kawu, represented by Mr. Olufemi Ayeni, Director, Investigation and Enforcement said that digitization is no longer new in our environment. He reminded the audience about the pilot project switchover in Jos, and that of Abuja. He emphasized on training and re-training, including being professional in handling the business of broadcasting and also noted that the issue of quality control in programming should be taken seriously.

 

Observations

The following observations were made from the presentations at the forum:

One of the greatest challenges of content production is funding. Content producers do not only struggle to make relevant content, they are also required to pay for airtime to transmit their content.

Content producers lack proper understanding of the audience and their environment. This prevents them from achieving their desired objectives.

Digitization offers new opportunities for the content and media industry to recoup investments through the exploitation of new distribution Channels and devices.

The outcome of the Presidential Advisory Committee’s recommendations became government’s white paper on digitization in Nigeria. This led to the licensing and establishment of 2 signal Distributors, the Integrated Television Services (ITS) and Pinnacle Communications Limited, 13 set-box Manufacturers were licensed and Inview Nigeria Limited, a middleware operator was appointed for compressing the signals of various channels into multiplexes and packaged for transmission.

The benefits of digitization include accessibility of viewers to more channels; clearer and sharper pictures and sound; creation of Jobs through the establishment of STB manufacturing firms, and content production; more money to the film making industry (Nollywood), the advertising industry and the broadcast industry, thereby increasing the GDP of Nigeria.

The expectation of the public is that digitization will facilitate the growth and development of home-grown broadcast technology which will help Nigeria to compete favourably in the ICT global market.

The electronic media constitute the most effective means of reaching the largest and accessible population especially with the advent of the information technology which has led to their convergence.

The clash of cultures and threats of cultural domination are challenges confronting the regulator in the digital era.

Digital broadcasting in Nigeria poses far reaching challenges to operators in terms of programming, provision of modern equipment, convergence, and knowledgeable and competent personnel.

Language being an important part of our lives is not only for communication but also a way for the expression of our personality. Language has also been found to be inseparable from culture as a change in one brings about a change in the other.

English language was predominantly the language of broadcasting in its early stages until the 50s when the indigenous radio stations were established to broadcast almost wholly in the languages of their locality for the benefit of the audience

Broadcasting in indigenous languages has enriched the lexicon of the local languages but there are still problems of translations of words and concepts from English to local languages because of the continuous technological advancement being experienced globally.

The Colonialists used English language as a dominant broadcasting language for the purpose of expanding their imperial territories.

Indigenous people who are not literate in English language are alienated from media programmes, political debates and other developmental programmes broadcast only in English language.

New vocabulary which keeps coming up in the English language due to technological advancement are often missing in the local languages.

There is a prevailing falling standard of broadcasting as observed in poor programme presentation, faulty oral English, presumptions self-adulation and refusal to learn and persevere by programme presenters.

 

RESOLUTIONS

The Forum resolved that:

Any programme, be it enlightenment, educative or entertainment, targeted at the family should be such that encourages and advises the family.

The use of proper, simple and correct English is very important so that programmes are not allowed to be above the audience in the choice of language.

Hate speech or vice-promoting language should not be allowed on any family programme whatsoever.

Content producers and broadcasters need to demonstrate high level of responsibility by allowing the tools of protection to guide their production, programme scheduling, and provision of information and warnings.

Audience research must be taken seriously by content producers to enhance the quality of broadcast content.

Linguists and those in the language Engineering field should lend a hand in enlarging the lexicon of our local languages to equip them enough to be able to cope with the ever – increasing terms, concepts and ideas that technological invention and modernization bring into broadcasting.

Broadcast stations should ensure more programmes are designed in the local languages of their coverage areas for the purposes of granting people access to participation and inclusiveness in governmental and developmental issues.

Training and re-training in various areas of digital broadcasting must be embraced by stakeholders.

The regulator needs to articulate the right policy direction that will adequately cater for the issues of interoperability, conditional access and the EPG in the digital era.

Broadcasting should be used to generate and increase indigenous language programme production and therefore reinforce our national cultures.

The regulator should be an independent, non-partisan, non-sectional body, with well-defined sources of funding, making rules and regulations that are consistent with the constitution of Nigeria.

Content producers should not just produce for the sake of content production but should have clear direction, mission and visions and be consistent with the objectives of broadcasting.

The impact of broadcast programmes on the audience makes imperative for content producers to extol the superiority of local cultures and the need to synthesize that culture with technological and intelligence modernity.

The Communique was put together by:

Mrs Stella Erhunmwunsee - NBC, Abuja.

Mr Sunday Omoge - NBC, Lagos

Mrs Mobolaji Wilcox - Ido Local Government

Mr Yunusa Nari Rikoto - NBC, Abuja

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