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BY KORIR JUMA,NAIROBI,3RD MAY 2018-Reporters without borders report indicate that Kenya is ranked at position 96 in Africa in as far as media freedom is concerned.
This is a decline as compared to the year 2017 where the country was ranked at position 95.But who is to blame for this unfortunate state of affairs?,according to the Media council of Kenya David Omoyo kenya has good laws to ensure freedom of the press but the implementation remains a great challenge. ”To ensure this is actualized we need all players to come together and purpose to achieve it,state actors,journalists,the public and civil society at large”.he said.
Omoyo also notes that goodwill to achieve media freedom is there in principal but it is conditional.There has been a challenge of the political class taking journalists at ransom where they can only support journalists as long as they don’t write stories revealing the wrong they have committed.”talk of corruption if a certain journalist was to write an article about corruption involving a political leader or a leader respected in society that journalist becomes an enemy to that particular individual,that is the challenge”.He said.
His sentiments are shared by chair of the editors guild of Kenya Churchil Otieno who says that media control is the order of the day where commercial interests and politics has taken over the media.This has greatly hampered freedom of the media.”We must ensure that we continue to fight for public interests because that is what we stand for as media in this country”.Said Otieno during the marking of the world media freedom day in Nairobi.
Omoyo further points at that the problem of quarks in the media industry is becoming a concerned in Kenya.
According to him the council is soon going to unveil a strategy that will deal with the problem once and for all.”Without diverging more information very soon we will solve that problem,we have a strategy being developed by the media council”.He added.
Editors guild chair says the organization is determined in ensuring that the media continue to serve public interests as it has always been the case.He says there is a plan in the pipeline where all kenyans in the country will be involved with organized forums to given the public a chance to air their views on how media should continue to carry on its functions.One such forum is planned for Mandera on 12th of June this year.
He also says there will be a similar one in Nairobi at later date where editors and political leaders will come together to discuss related issues.