…MRA condemns expulsion of Arise TV cameraman
By Clifford Ndujihe, Politics Editor
The dust raised by the expulsion of an Arise Television cameraman from the Nigeria Economic Summit Group, NESG, dialogue with All Progressives Congress, APC, Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in Lagos, on Friday, are yet to die down.
The Arise TV journalist was chased out of the interactive session, where Tinubu presented his economic plans for airing the event live.
Justifying the action, the All Progressive Congress Presidential Campaign Council, APC PCC said the event was not meant for live coverage but the Arise TV cameraman was secretly recording the APC chieftain.
According to a statement issued by Bayo Onanuga, the publicity director of the APC campaign council, the cameraman was sent out for secretly filming Tinubu.
Onanuga said: “Arise TV cameraman clandestinely streamed live Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s event in Lagos today. He was not authorized by anyone. He was clearly on espionage but was busted and sent out. Is journalism by stealth part of the practice by Arise News?”
While this action by the APC was greeted with a lot of criticism, Onanuga explained that the dialogue between Tinubu and the NESG was not meant to be a live telecast. He said: “For clarity, the Tinubu-Shettima campaign is not against Arise TV covering its events. The Lagos NESG dialogue was not meant for live TV coverage. “It was to be recorded and shown later. Other TV houses did not breach the rule, except Arise News. And it was done by stealth. Why?”
We didn’t err — Arise TV
Disagreeing with Onanuga, Arise TV Director of News, Mr. Yemi Ajayi, in several tweets, said the television station did not err in live streaming the event, saying “in line with the best global journalistic standard, the fact that no other television station streamed live isn’t tantamount to Arise news practising espionage as you are trying to frame it…
“Officials of NESG saw the Arise TV crew when they are setting up and no express objection was raised about our presence. Neither was there any expressed instruction that we should live stream the event.
“As I explained to you in our telephone conversation, when you called me earlier today (Saturday), on the issue, there was nothing stealthily about Arise TV news coverage and live streaming of the official BAT event at the NESG, Ikoyi Lagos, yesterday… As a veteran in journalism, you are aware that every media has the freedom to determine its editorial policy and this Arise TV has done. We came to the venue in our branded official vehicle and our cameraman was wearing a branded jacket. “We were neither rebuked nor accused of stealthily live-streaming the speech of @officialABAT. @ Arisetv is only doing its job and should be left to do so without any harassment or vilification.
“So at what point did Arisetv breach any regulation of the event? Last year when Asiwaju had his 70th colloquium, we live to stream the speech of officiaBAT.”
However, the Media Rights Agenda, MRA, yesterday, condemned the expulsion of the Arise Television cameraman from the Tinubu-NESG dialogue describing it as “bizarre, highhanded and a violation of the rights of the media.”
In a statement by its Programme Director, Mr. Ayode Longe, the MRA expressed concern that “the APC-PCC’s blatant disregard for the rights of a journalist performing a constitutionally-protected function even at a time when the party is seeking to persuade Nigerians to vote its candidate into the highest office in the land, portends grave dangers for the media should that candidate prevail in the elections.”
Longe expressed outrage at the allegation and the APC-PCC’s justification for its unconstitutional action, describing it as ridiculous and baffling. He said: “What authorization does the journalist require to perform his professional duty of covering a political campaign event? How can a purely journalistic act by a cameraman from a television station filming a public political campaign event and beaming it live to a public audience be characterized as espionage? Should the cameraman have first made a public announcement that he is covering the event so as not to be accused of doing so clandestinely?
“We find this particularly bewildering because Mr. Onanuga, who issued the justification and made the accusation of espionage, spent a significant portion of his career as a professional journalist engaged in what came to be known as guerrilla journalism, for which he and the two media outlets, TheNews and Tempo magazines, where he served as an editor, were widely applauded, including by people like Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. It is the worst form of irony that he is now attempting to condemn a journalist engaged in his professional pursuit as having committed a capital offence.”
The post Tinubu @ NESG: APC PCC, Arise TV bicker over expulsion of journalist appeared first on Vanguard News.
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