The lingering mutual suspicion between the media and the military has been identified as reason the two rarely agree on access to, and use of information.
This was the consensus of participants at a one-day seminar for Defence Correspondents organised by the Defence Headquarters on Thursday at Defence Headquarters, Abuja.
It was also the consensus of participants that the media should not be portrayed as lapdog or attack dog, but a watchdog with enormous responsibility to balance between the public right to know and the imperatives of national security.
In a paper titled: “Information Management and National Security: Challenges and Prospects”, Dr Igomu Onoja, opined that the military and media have unrealistic expectations of each other resulting from differences in professional mandate which is sometimes understandable.
He however identified a meeting point between the two extremes, saying that, “while the soldier moves towards danger to quell it, the reporter does so to get news”, thereby exposing both to danger.
He said decried commercialization of information and “let them pay syndrome” prevalent in most media organizations today, which he said, undermines the journalistic principle of objectivity, fairness and decency and gave way for ownership and economic interests.