BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,3RD FEB,2022-As the country approaches the 2022 General Election, the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) is calling on all Kenyan broadcasters to provide equitable coverage and opportunities to political parties and candidates.
They also want the broadcasters to ensure that broadcasting platforms are not misused to propagate hate speech, or to incite people to violence among others.
In a statement Thursday to all Tv and Radio broadcasters, Director-General Ezra Chiloba wants the broadcasters to provide responsible and responsive programming that caters for the varied need and susceptibilities of different sections of the Kenyan community.
He said that it’s the duty of the media to gather and present news and information accurately and impartially.
“You are required to desist from broadcasting any report where there is sufficient reason to doubt its accuracy and where it is not possible to verify the accuracy of the report before it is broadcasted,” he said.
He called for the broadcasters to also guard against transmission of ‘fake news or misleading information during the electioneering period.
“Part IV (22) of the Broadcasting Regulations requires that you ensure that broadcasts from your station are based on fact and are not founded on opinion, rumor supposition, or allegation and that you adhere strictly to your professional standards.” He added
He also reminded the broadcasters to ensure that aspiring candidates associated with or employed by their stations to take the required leave of office by 9th April 2022 as gazette by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
“Meanwhile, to ensure objectivity inn the election coverage, we require broadcasters to ensure that their employees who have expressed interest of who are seeking elective offices or who are involved in campaigns for political parties be barred from the day-today operations of the stations to avoid interfering with the editorial independence of the station and the potential unfair use of their media office as a campaign platform.
He noted that the Authority shall take the necessary regulatory action to ensure compliance in accordance with the relevant provisions of the law.