COVID-19: Tele-Regulation of Broadcast Coverage of Public Health Emergencies in Nigeria
Keywords:Teleregulation, Monitoring, Broadcasting, Regulation, COVID-19, Misinformation
Background: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has presented a severe challenge to broadcasters globally. How broadcast media stations in Nigeria responded through their coverage is deserving of scholarly attention. How regulatory agencies performed their role during the out of the virus is equally worthy of scholarly attention.
Objective: This study assessed COVID-19 coverage by Kano State broadcast media. It also evaluated how the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), an agency saddled with regulating the broadcasting industry, responded in tackling violations during a public health emergency. Methodology: The researchers made use of a mixed-method: content analysis and documentary analysis. Content analysis was used to generate quantitative data, while documentary analysis was used for qualitative data through analysis of the Weekly Monitory Reports (WMRs).
Results The paper found that the COVID-19 pandemic was given a third place on public station with 16% coverage and fourth position on a private station with about 15%. On information accuracy, the paper found that there were instances of inaccuracies about the virus as non-experts were severally featured on programmes, thus misleading the public.
Conclusion: The paper concludes that Kano broadcasters paid attention to the pandemic but disregarded professionalism in so many instances as inaccuracies and misinformation were reported and acted upon by NBC. It is therefore recommended that NBC should not only amend emergency coverage provisions in the Code but come up with a broadcast policy on disaster and other crises emergencies as an antidote to unprofessional coverage as witnessed in some stations.
Unique contribution: The study offered theoretical and practical contribution that explains how broadcasters report health emergency issues in radio stations.
Key recommendation: National broadcasting commission should come up with a broadcast policy on disaster and other crises emergencies as a remedy to unprofessional coverage as witnessed in broadcast stations
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Copyright (c) 2021 Auwalu Rabilu, QaribuYahaya Nasidi
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