THE NEED FOR CENSORSHIP ON NIGERIAN TV
Dear Diary, as we constantly advance through time, living day to day as deemed fit by the Almighty; our ability to take note of certain situations & occurrences continues to increase until such a time when nature starts to take its course and senses dwindle. But that’s a story for another day. Today however, our observations aid us in comprehending and totally understanding the ‘way of the world’ as we know it.
With this, our focus is turned yet again, to the world of ‘MUSIC VIDEOS’ but this time, rather than being a celebration of the quality in conceptualization & development; attention is aimed at the seemingly blatant manner in which indecent exposure and vulgarity is promoted rather than controlled. This piece does not aim to challenge the rights to ‘freedom of expression’ possessed by every individual, but to understand the basis for permitting offensive language, semi nudity and violence to be aired on “daytime television” as seen on various music channels on satellite TV. Recollecting teenage years when the ‘foreign’ influence in the media material exposed to individuals had received a major boost with the introduction of the very popular ‘Cable TV’, such ‘music videos’ with explicit content (whether violence, nudity or strong language) were mostly aired at night. This gesture was certainly positive, even though not ‘100% full proof’, as the stubborn nature of teenagers would lead to late night ‘SNEAK TV’ (a reference to sneaking out of bed to watch television). Nowadays, such a gesture doesn’t really seem to hold water anymore, and even though sometimes, attempts are made at blurring out a few really indecent material such as naked breasts, the foul language involved is simply untouched, which seems like a ‘half baked’ approach but to say the least.
The most likely ‘counter-argument’ would be the ability to activate the ‘parental control’ sequence available to pay/satellite TV subscribers but exactly how long could such a measure be upheld? The development of well rounded individual usually involves exposure to various spheres of life ranging from music, the arts, science, technology etc from as far back as childhood and total restriction from a ‘music channel’ might be seen as harsh, and may warp the youth’s development. The regulatory body on the other hand, surely would not entertain any material of such nature on ‘local’ television stations and ‘non compliance’ usually results in heavy fines & temporary or permanent bans. The institution constantly puts out material to all broadcast stakeholders to reduce the spate of indecent material being spread which on the local front, seems to be adhered to.
Why does it then seem to be ‘non-reflective’ in pay/satellite TV operations, especially when they seem to be the primary source of viewing material today? Surely, these operators are subject to the broadcast regulations of the governing body within their geographical location of base and as such, requires them (pay TV/satellite TV operators) to abide strictly or risk incurring heavy sanctions or even worse. Given the ever growing economic imbalances in the country especially in terms of unemployment, lack of investment capital and power outages, more and more youth may get sucked into committing hideous acts for fun or as pastimes like ‘RAPE’, which has been a scourge to our society over the years. Constant exposure to indecent material & sexually explicit content may fuel a ‘lustful rage’ in younger individuals and prompt them to engage in such dastardly acts that may impact the society negatively as a whole.
While watching a few music videos on satellite TV recently, I was able to observe the trend in ‘not beeping sexual swear words’, ‘not blurring out exposure of female body parts’ and ‘not editing violent references’. The most worrisome part of this observation was that these videos were shown in ‘broad daylight’. Does this mean to say that the regulatory body simply pays ‘lip service’ when it comes to ‘appropriate monitoring’ of the content aired on satellite TV; or is it that traditional case of ‘turning a blind eye’ as commonly practiced within the country? The situation certainly warrants a ‘rapid response’ plan as it constantly fuels the development of a ‘morally decadent’ society which would in turn, would result in extremely negative outcomes.
As we continue to encourage a rapidly improving entertainment industry and continue to promote the right to ‘freedom of expression’, a lot more must be done to ensure that ‘freedom of expression’ represents ‘positive expression’ & the music videos are simply visual representations of what they stand for…MUSIC, GOOD MUSIC!!!
By Sly Ojigbede; On Air Personality/Morning Show Host/Rap & Hip Hop Classics; CLASSIC FM 97.3 Follow on Twitter @slydunbarus Facebook: Sylvester Ojigbede; FB Fanpage: Sly Ojigbede, Instagram: @slydunbarus