Nigeria: Iredia Wants Community Broadcasting

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Director-General, Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), Dr Tonnie Iredia, last week canvassed for the establishment of community-based broadcasting stations, to bring the nation's ethnic communities into focus and government nearer to the people.

Iredia said this in Ilorin, in a paper entitled, "Broadcasting in a Developing Country - Challenges to Professionalism," at the national conference of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), adding that Nigeria's broadcasting is elitist and does not allow cultural development.

He said current development in the establishment of broadcasting that was elitist in nature has denied many people at the local level access to information that could be of immense contribution to their socio well-being.

According to Iredia, what we need this time around is community broadcasting stations that would be relevant to the society and not the kind of broadcasting stations like the CNN that has taken over most of the home nowadays

He said for example, a community station like that of the people of Ijebu-Ode would have access to, thereby promoting their culture and not the one that would deprive them access to information. Iredia, who was given a standing ovation, added that the community-based broadcasting stations would allow the use of local language and facilitate delivery of information.

He said professionalism should be enshrined in the day to day coverage of news in the broadcasting media, to enhance the nation's socio-economic development adding that professionalism should be decent and more importantly, should not create disharmony among the people.

(This Day (Lagos), 31 August 2007)