The Right to Privacy, the New Media and Human Development in Nigeria



This paper examines the right to privacy, the new media and national development efforts in Nigeria. It draws attention to the need to be ethical in using the new media of communication which have practically made the world a “global village” as previously predicted by media iconoclast and scholar, Marshal McLuhan. The social responsibility theory of the press provides theoretical anchor for the paper. This paper which depends on secondary data, identifies some new media to include the electronic mail (e-mail), Internet, GSM, videoconferencing and others. Depending on the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) and the Code of Ethics for Nigerian Journalists (1998), the author makes a robust case for the protection of the privacy of the individual to enable him/her contribute meaningfully to national development efforts. Some cases on the invasion of peoples privacy have been highlighted especially the Sir Keith Rupert Murdoch incident in England, the Anita Hagan Bassey and Oge Okoye cases in Nigeria. It has also been noted that certain factors tend to limit the use of he new media in Nigeria, such as poor power situation, high costs, lack of adequate knowledge and skill as many persons, including journalists, do not make themselves available for instruction and training. In order to improve the use of the new media in a professional and responsible manner, it is recommended among others, that computer education should be given institutional and government attention, media houses should show more interest than they are doing at the moment in handling issues related to ICT while ethical orientation should be given more attention than it is receiving at the moment by all concerned.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3267 ISSN (Online)2224-3275

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