Sensitive Information Gathering and Dissemination: An Assessment of Doctrinal Roles of The Military and The Media In Nigeria.
Sections 22, 39 and 217 (2c) of the 1999 constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) provides specific roles for the military and media in Nigeria. These constitutional provisions give the military the powers to execute their duties of suppressing insurrection and acting in aid of civil authorities to restore law and order. Similarly, sections 22 and 39 respectively, allow the press, radio, television and other agencies of the mass media to uphold the national interest of the nation. Every man has an inherent right to form his own opinions, ideas and thoughts and to express them freely. Yet the freedom of expression granted to all men is not absolute. This paper on sensitive information gathering and dissemination focuses on the role of the military and that of the media in the gathering and dissemination of information often termed sensitive, contentious and inciting. It is based on past and present media reports that the military and the public now consider alarming and inciting any information insensitively published. Since the issues highlighted in this paper falls within the public domain, the paper leans on the Gratification theoretical model espoused by Denis McQuail (1970). The theory is a reaction to the critical theory of the assumption that the audiences are easily brainwashed by media reports. The research reveals that based on the supposedly biased media reportage on sensitive issues that there exists in pert, palpable anxiety and insecurity in the country. The paper recommends that the military and the media should synergize to ensure a harmonious working relationship especially in the reportage of security issues.
Keywords: Sensitive, Information, Constitutional role, Military and Media.