Tuesday, 11 September 2012


In the history of the Entertainment Industry no other event got as much media coverage as the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Television coverage of the terrorist attacks and their aftermath was the longest uninterrupted news event in the history of U.S. television. The major U.S. broadcast and cable networks were on the air for days with uninterrupted coverage from the moment news first came that the first plane hit the World Trade Center. Millions of shocked television viewers watching live pictures of the World Trade Center saw the second plane hit and both buildings come down. In order to keep up with the constant flood of information, at 10.49 a.m., Fox News Channel began running continuous updates in the form of a news ticker that crawled along the bottom of the screen. This was so well received by viewers that it became a permanent feature on the channel and was adopted by many other news channels

9/11 2001

In this Sept. 11, 2001 file photo, United Airlines Flight 175 approaches the south tower of the World Trade Center in New York shortly before collision as smoke billows from the north tower.

    • The major cable and satellite television networks in the United States reacted in three different ways: Some networks suspended their program lineup and simulcast the news coverage of their affiliated broadcast networks. Examples include Walt Disney Company-owned ESPN, ESPN2, and SoapNet, which aired coverage from ABC News; Viacom's MTV, VH1, Nick at Nite, BET, and TNN (now Spike), which aired coverage from CBS News (at the time, CBS was owned by Viacom along with the aforementioned cable channels, those of which remain owned by Viacom in the present day); Time Warner networks TBS, TNT, Court TV (now truTV), CNNfn, CNNfyi, and CNNSI, which aired CNN coverage; and News Corporation's Fox Sports Net, FX, Speedvision (now Speed), and OLN (later Versus, now NBC Sports Network, now owned by NBCUniversal), which aired Fox News Channel's coverage. Home Shopping Network, then held by Studios USA, simulcast coverage from Canadian broadcaster CBC's U.S. cable news channel NewsWorld International, a sister network to HSN at the time (now Current TV).
      A helicopter flies over the Pentagon in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001 as smoke billows over the building. The Pentagon took a direct, devastating hit from an aircraft and the enduring symbols of American power were evacuated.
        • Other networks stopped airing programs altogether; these included Food Network, HGTV, and DIY (all of them are owned by The E.W. Scripps Company), as well as QVC.Still, other outlets continued their regular programming anyway; these included Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, Comedy Central, A&E, The History Channel, Game Show Network (now commonly known as GSN), Sci Fi Channel (now Syfy), and Bravo (the last two networks were not bought by NBCUniversal until 2004, which is a partial explanation for the lack of news coverage).
          Photo dated Sept. 11, 2001 shows US President George W. Bush being informed by his chief of staff Andrew Card of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York during an early morning school reading event in Sarasota, Florida
            • In the United Kingdom, BBC, ITV and Channel 4 all suspended their programming for in-depth coverage of the attacks.Smaller broadcast networks also altered their schedules. Affiliates of The WB Television Network simulcast coverage from CNN. In general, the majority of UPN affiliates also carried CBS News' coverage of the events; however, nine of the 10 UPN stations owned by Fox Television Stations Group, including KCOP in Los Angeles and WPWR in Chicago, along with other UPN affiliates that did not air CBS News coverage, aired coverage from Fox News instead (WWOR-TV, based out of Secaucus, New Jersey but serving the New York metropolitan area, provided local coverage). PAX TV (later i: Independent Television, now ION Television) aired coverage from NBC News, which had a close relationship with many of the network's affiliates at the time through news share agreements with local NBC affiliates.
              A person falls from the north tower of New York's World Trade Center Tuesday Sept. 11, 2001 after terrorists crashed two hijacked airliners into the World Trade Center and brought down the twin 110-story towers..
              In this Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001 file photo, people run from a cloud of debris from the collapse of a World Trade Center tower in New York.
              • The television coverage had far more traumatic effects on children. When asked for her thoughts on the attacks, First Lady Laura Bush responded with a very strong warning to parents: do not let your children see the pictures over and over, especially your young children, but even elementary school-aged children should not be watching it all the time. She felt it was too frightening for them and warned that parents turn off the television so that children do not see the replays over and over again. She gave the very strong warning based on how children reacted to the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. As it turns out, TV networks stopped airing the footage for the most part within a month of the attacks; one news executive told Us magazine that such showings were now more sensational than relevant.

              MEDIA COVERAGE OF TERRORISTS ATTACKS IN NIGERIA...Nothing much to say because there was practically none...or so we thought!

              The UNITED NATIONS BUILDING IN ABUJA after the bomb blast

              • As reported by thewillnigeria.com August 26th 2011 will for a long time to come remain the darkest day in Nigeria’s international history because of the fact that it was on this day that a suspected lone suicide bomber carried out a successful terrorist attack on the premises of the United Nations in Abuja.
                • Even as most Nigerians and international observers have expressed sadness over this unfortunate event that portrayed Nigeria in very bad light, some few media observers have passed judgment on what they considered as less than professional coverage of the dastardly incident by the publicly funded Nigerian Television Authority. Simon Kolawole of Thisday and another in-house opinion writer in The Guardian were among the frontline media observers that expressed consternation over the nature of ‘restrictive’ coverage of the terrorism attack of August 26th 2011 in Abuja by the Nigerian Television Authority.
                • However Aljazeera borrowed the recording of that dastardly terrorist incident from the Nigerian Television Authority because the logo of the NTA could be seen conspicuously on the screen.
                • An authoritative source conversant with the broadcasting industry in the country informed me that the news directorate of the Nigerian Television Authority broke the news of that August 26th 2011 terrorist attack on the United Nations House and the television station kept their viewers updated as events continued to unfold.The reliable source told me that he is in the know that the NTA news directorate deployed their best hands in the news crew which headed to the bombed United Nations office and that the first ever telecast of the event was shown by 12pm news of the Nigerian Television Authority.
                • On the allegation that NTA edited out some sensitive scenes of persons killed by the bomb blast, I was informed that it was a deliberate decision not to show images that are emotionally offensive but the catastrophe was shown to the audience of the NTA without fundamentally tinkering with the substance of that unfortunate event by way of over editing.
                • There is a strict legal framework regulating media contents of broadcasting stations as stipulated by the National Broadcasting Commission
                • Specifically, article 3.10 of the Nigerian Broadcasting Code talks about coverage of violence, cruelty, pain and horror. Article 3.10.1 provides that ; “broadcasting is highly susceptible to imitation especially by children. Therefore, the portrayal of violence, cruelty, pain and horror that has the potential of causing moral or psychological harm shall not be broadcast before the watershed time-belt of 9.00pm. The bomb attack occurred around 10 am on August 26th 2011 and all Nigerian Television Stations are obliged by law not to glamorize violence but to report the event nevertheless which it did in the best professional manner.
                  • Article 3.10.2 of the code provides thus; “A programme portraying excessive pain, physical violence or horror shall not be broadcast, unless relevant to character development or to the advancement of the theme or plot; even so, graphic and gory details shall be avoided”.
                    The NTA management in the cover...................

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