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BY KORIR JUMA,NAIROBI,10TH OCT 2017-The media has been challenged to take up a more proactive role in reporting issues affecting society.According to Kenya correspondent Association chair Oloo Janak the media has failed in playing a role of a watchdog in society a move that has led to poor service delivery and lack of political accountability.
Speaking in Nairobi at an action for transparency media forum organized by international transparency,Oloo has urged the local media to go back to the 1990s when media could speak boldly without fear. ”Media lack confidence to speak against ills in society such as corruption”.he said.
He says that it was time for the media to move away from focusiong on petty issues and be keen on real issues.”The media is now concentrating on demos and destruction of some small kiosks hear and there and not focusing on the issues that led to annulment of the presidential election”.added Oloo. Janak has urged journalist also to take a stand and do the right thing even when it is uncomfortable for the editor or decision makers in the newsrooms.
His position has been emphasized by Victor Bwire from the media council of Kenya.
However he is of the opinion that the current curriculum being used to train journalists is outdated and not inline with the demands of today’s world.He has called on trainers of the media to practitioners to ensure that training done meets the demands of today.”you can not continue studying how to write news and what is news at this current new media times”.he said.He has further faulted the media for allocating more space and time to analysts to set the agenda instead of setting the agenda for the country to follow this is where the problem is.
The journalists also find themselves at across road because of commercial interests in the media. According to Bwire most media owners can not allow carrying stories of courage and change this is due to the advertisers who determine what goes on air which must change if there will be a breakthrough.
Most journalists are shallow in their topics and stories they do not go deep into tackling real issues.” you have the nut and bolts of journalism but where is the content? he asked..
”you go to cover a terrorist attack and you have no information on what happened”.said Bwire.
Bwire who is also a lecturer at various local universities feels that time had come for journalists to make networks that will help them in getting a head in stories.”Make good what you have.it doesn’t
Sheila Masinde from international transparency said there was much politics and others issues not really tackling challenges facing society.She says the civil societies never get enough space or time in news .urging for media houses to adopt a more proactive manner and be able to create room for more important issues affecting society.She says it must be a media which is centered on promoting the good of society.The must be more of capacity building bringing together players in media industry.She says the law aimed at protecting journalists especially those who cover corruption issues is currently at the attorney genaral’s office and urged all stakeholders to unite in supporting it since it will go along way giving a backing to those journalists,and ensuring there was a more proactive reporting especially of accountability.
Sheila has faulted journalists for not following up wonderful stories especially on corruption related a move that ends up killing the same which could have changed the country.