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Nigerian Media Industry needs regulation

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By Abiodun Okunloye

Openness, accountability, and high ethical standards will boost the sector.

In recent years, Nigeria’s media monitoring and intelligence industry has grown immensely. Also, monitoring and assessing media material has grown significantly with the advent of digital media outlets. However, worries about the industry’s lack of oversight have emerged in line with its growth. However, the industry may benefit from standard regulations that promote openness, accountability, and high ethical standards. Content from many forms of media, including newspapers, magazines, television, radio, advertisements, and online social media, must be gathered, analysed, and interpreted in this process.

It helps keep tabs on public opinion, maintain a positive image, and understand how various outlets report on a given topic or issue. Natural language processing and machine learning algorithms are among the cutting-edge technology used by media monitoring and intelligence agencies to sift through and make meaning from massive amounts of data. No regulations govern the industry. The lack of regulation has caused various problems. To begin, it is unclear how accurate and reliable monitoring outcomes are due to a lack of standardised practises and methodology. Misleading or insufficient analysis can compromise decision-making without benchmarks.

Lack of regulations has led to unethical practices.

Also, the lack of oversight in the market has led to the development of unethical practices. Cherry-picking information or altering outcomes to meet specific agendas are examples of unethical data manipulation that are possible without a code of conduct or acceptable standards in the media. This compromises the trustworthiness of all media platforms and threatens the efficacy of the service. Additionally, the absence of government oversight has diminished public trust and accountability. No procedures exist to ensure that the agencies treat personal information with respect. Data breaches, unauthorised access, and misuse of personal information are all reasonable concerns in this situation.

There are several reasons why it is essential to regulate the media monitoring and intelligence industry in Nigeria. First, it would guarantee the precision and dependability of intelligence and media monitoring agencies. Standardised techniques and quality control measures would promote confidence in the findings delivered and boosted the industry’s credibility. Due to the lack of local regulations and associations, certain companies, including P+ Measurement Services, have recently joined global associations such as AMEC, FIBEP, and others.

Regulations will increase the industry’s potential.

Furthermore, the regulation would increase integrity and openness in the industry. There would be less chance of false or misleading information spreading if the agencies were held accountable through the establishment of a code of conduct along with professional standards. The result would be a more open and reliable system for monitoring the media. In addition, the regulations would protect people’s right to privacy and other sensitive information. It is possible to regulate the gathering, storing, and utilisation of its data through data protection laws and guidelines.

Effective regulation requires coordination among all parties involved. Agencies, industry groups, governments, and civil society organisations all need to work together to create a uniform set of rules. Standardisation, ethics, data security, and individual confidentiality should all be part of this framework. The establishment of an autonomous regulatory body has the potential to improve industry oversight and compliance enforcement significantly. Guidelines, licences, audits, and complaints would all be handled by this body. Stakeholders would have a place to air their grievances, get their questions answered, and add to the conversation about how business is conducted.

Citizens, businesses and others will trust its credibility.

The opportunity for the industry to foster openness, responsibility, and data-driven decision making is enormous. However, without proper oversight, these vital goals may be jeopardised. It is impossible to stress the need for formal rules and regulations. Media monitoring and intelligence services in Nigeria can be trusted resources for citizens, businesses, and the government if the country adopts standardised procedures, ethical norms, and data security precautions. With concerted work and the creation of a standalone regulating body, the industry may flourish while maintaining the greatest levels of professionalism and honesty.

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