NBC/CEMESO Set Agenda for Community broadcasters on Civic Voter Education, Professionalism, and Sustainability

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The Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Mr. Charles Ebuebu, has called on community broadcasters, including Community Radio and Campus Radio Practitioners, to adopt innovative strategies, foster partnerships, and embrace sound management practices that promote sustainability.

Mr. Ebuebu made this submission during a welcome address in Abuja at a capacity-building workshop jointly organized by NBC and the Centre for Media and Society (CEMESO).
Mr. Ebuebu emphasized that the workshop was designed to enable broadcasters uphold high standards of professionalism and develop innovative strategies for effectively serving their target communities through ethical conduct.

He highlighted the power of community radio stations to amplify diverse voices, promote dialogue , and drive collective action towards shared community goals.

“By upholding high standards of professionalism, we not only earn the trust of our audience but also enhance the quality and credibility of our broadcasting. Our stations have the power to amplify diverse voices, ignite conversations, and drive collective action towards shared goals within our communities,” Mr. Ebuebu stated.

He further urged community broadcasters to leverage their platforms to inspire dialogue and drive positive change within their respective communities. Emphasizing the importance of earning the audience’s trust and elevating the quality and credibility of community broadcasting.

In his opening address, Dr. Akin Akingbulu, the Executive Director of CEMESO, underscored the crucial role that community broadcasters play in promoting democracy.
He highlighted how the need for broadcasters to advance civic voter education and ensure effective professional media coverage, on electoral cycle using diverse radio programming formats.

Dr. Akingbulu outlined the significant contributions of CEMESO within the framework of the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN) Project II.
This initiative according to him is to bolster democracy in Nigeria, with CEMESO focusing on the media’s role in providing fair, accurate, inclusive, and professional electoral coverage. Key objectives include enhancing the professionalism of media practitioners, particularly women, and diversifying civic and voter education (CVE). Additionally, the project seeks to strengthen the regulatory body’s capacity to fulfill its mandate effectively.

“The workshop was meticulously designed to strengthen professionalism, civic engagement, and sustainability in community broadcasting,” Dr. Akingbulu explained. He underscored the importance of community radio stations, noting their unique position in reaching local populations and fostering grassroots participation in democratic processes.

The workshop, delivered in two separate batches over four days for Community Radio and Campus Radio Practitioners, provided an invaluable platform for participants from across the country.

The workshop culminated in peer reviews and the development of actionable plans especially on sustainability, to further enabled them enhance their contribution to democratic governance.

Through these efforts, CEMESO and the EU-SDGN Project aim to ensure that the media landscape in Nigeria not only supports democracy but actively nurtures it. The focus on professionalism, civic engagement, and sustainability in community broadcasting is seen as a critical step towards achieving these goals.

In a presentation titled “Navigating Misinformation and Disinformation in Community Broadcasting,” Programme Manager Mr. Timothy Bamidele emphasized that capacity building is a wake-up call to the vital role community broadcasters play in upholding professionalism, promoting civic engagement, and ensuring sustainability in the face of false narratives.

Mr. Bamidele outlined the various types of misinformation and disinformation that plague our society, including false rumors, conspiracy theories, and manipulated media. He explained that these can propagate like wildfire through social media, news outlets, and word of mouth.

He emphasized the importance of community broadcasters being seen as trusted sources of information and urged them to focus on digital literacy and establish fact-checking desks in their respective stations.

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