The media council of Kenya (MCK) will next year conduct dialogue forums for police and journalists to enhance better working relations, council deputy chief executive officer, Victor Bwire has said.
Bwire said that the need for the forums, to be held in various regions in the country, has been necessitated by the rising number of incidents of conflict between the security personnel and the members of the fourth estate.
He was speaking at a Siaya hotel yesterday when he met journalists from Siaya County.
“Journalists have been attacked and even barred from undertaking their duties by the police and security agents hence creating animosity,” he said adding that the dialogue meetings will seek to have both parties understand each other’s role as both complement each other.
Bwire said that MCK has advised the National Police Service to consider establishing media liaison desks within the police stations to ease flow of information.
“We have realised that there is a lot of mistrust and suspicion between journalists and the police and the establishment of such a desk will help,” he said.
His statement comes in the wake of the arrest of two journalists based in Bondo, Siaya County early this week when they went to the local police station to complain of assault by a senior police officer as they were covering the arrest of an alleged shylock.
Brian Ondeng’ (Kenya News Agency) and Geoffrey Oguma (Nam Lolwe FM) spent the night in the police cells before they were hauled before Bondo Principal Magistrate, charged with obstructing the police from performing their duties, which they denied.
During the meeting, Bwire challenged journalists to help weed out quacks who are giving the media industry a bad name.
The deputy CEO said that the influx of quacks can be solved if practising journalists join hands with MCK to unearth impersonators so that they could be arrested and prosecuted.
By Philip Onyango