BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,23RD SEPT,2021-The Media Council of Kenya has urged for enhanced collaboration between media and security agencies to ensure journalists’ safety during elections.
MCK CEO David Omwoyo said on Thursday that an effective partnership between the regulator, media owners, newsroom managers, individual journalists, and law enforcement agencies is key in safeguarding the safety and protection of journalists during elections.
“The Council will enable the media to abide by the guidelines. We have done this to forestall a situation, like in the past, where other actors in the election management system break the law and other codes of ethics and then blame the media for being the problem,” Omwoyo said.
In his remarks when the council received the reviewed elections coverage guidelines from the Technical Review Committee in Nairobi, Omwoyo said MCK will undertake intensive training and capacity building after the launch and adoption of the guidelines.
“We will cover all mainstream, vernacular, and community media, targeting both journalists and media practitioners across the country.”
He said that MCK’s ultimate aim is to ensure the media plays its role in ensuring a free fair, peaceful and transparent election facilitated by access to information.
MCK chairperson Maina Muiruri said that that the guidelines are a self-regulation tool as exemplified by the membership of the committee that is drawn from media houses, associations, independent practitioners, and media professional bodies.
“The Council will continue to leverage partnerships and collaborations within the industry for more strategies in preparing the media to play its part in ensuring free and fair elections in August 2022,” Muiruri said.