CRITICAL APPRAISAL OF THE ROLE OF NATIONAL BROADCASTING COMMISSION (NBC) IN CONTROLLING THE PERFORMANCE OF BROADCAST INDUSTRY IN NIGERIA
The human society we live in is that of law and ethics, control and regulations. In essence therefore, the legal maxim ‘ubi societas ibijus’ (where there is society, there is law) stresses this fact. Laws, standards, guidelines and rules promote ethics while ethical principles reinforce the pillar of the law (Okoro, 1998:174). Therefore, no organised society in the world can exist with it citizens carrying out their normal functions without rules and regulations. In the absence of law and order, there will be chaos and anarchy.
Communication, and particularly broadcasting, according to (Ibagere 1996: 93) is regarded as: An important aspect of national by which professional bodies established must regulate its standards of practice in order to sanitize its activities. This is usually by government or pressure groups. it must ensure that the broadcast industry operate within the confines of public morality which should be determined by self-imposed censorship effected by also a professional body.
Broadcasting, with its sensitive nature and a wider coverage area, is a very powerful organ of mass communication. It is also dependent on air waves-electromagnetic spectrum, which belongs to the public. Therefore, governments all over the world have shown diverse interests in broadcasting because of the existence of its vital ingredient- the airwaves (electro — magnetic spectrum) which is a natural resource. There is a universal acceptance that the airwaves formed within the air space above the territorial boundaries of any nation is a bonfires property of that country.
Therefore, often government and other designated agencies are charged with regulating the airwaves so as to ensure that they benefit the nation as a whole now and in the future.
Ume- Nwagbo. E. (1995 : 15) citing (Head 1976:5) affirms that: No country can afford to leave so powerful and persuasive an avenue of public communication completely unregulated without shaping it to some degree in accord with public policy and national interest.
Again, broadcasting which invites legal controls because of the need to prevent interference and also for the efficient use of the spectrum for the public interest and to manage its potential for social control, is regulated the world over usually by an agency of government. In this case, it is the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) (Ogor, 2002 :78).
Broadcasting, due to its delicate, spontaneous and ubiquitous nature, demonstrates awesome power in shaping society. It has been described in varied terms.
In economic terms, broadcasting serves as a compass that helps in indicating the fluctuations in stocks, shares and other indices. In social life, it is a veritable instrument for shaping social and family values across generations. In politics’, it remains a sine qua non In Conveying messages to and from voters and a vehicle of agenda legitimization, sometimes of outright campaign by nations.
Frequencies which all the broadcast stations use to convey messages are, therefore, closely and scrupulously monitored and regulated in the public interest. Bako, 2002: 2). Among the different media of mass communication, the broadcast media have always been a source of worry to governments. One major reason for government control of broadcasting is