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Government has no intention to gag the media-PS

State Department for Broadcasting and Telecommunications Principal Secretary (PS) Edward Kisiang’ani says the government has no intention to gag the media although practitioners must show more responsibility in their daily reportage.

Professor Kisian’ani said there are no attempts to gag the media and stifle free press, noting that press freedom is an important aspect in any democratic society.

He assured that the government would continue to promote press freedom as well as providing an enabling environment for journalists in the country to thrive.

“We have no intention whatsoever of gagging the media and condemning those who keep on latching on the issue whenever there is some sort of crisis in the country,” he said stressing on the need for media practitioners to self-regulate.

He went further “the media should provide a neutral platform for people with competing ideas without taking positions”.

He says journalists should always investigate information properly before putting them out for public consumption lest they become ‘peddlers of rumours’.

“We know the media plays a key role in influencing the general public and therefore what we are urging them to do is to be responsible in their reporting,” he said, adding that the media should maintain objectivity in bringing facts to people.

Professor Kisiang’ani stressed that the media has the right and responsibility to question and criticise the government and suggest alternative solutions to national problems but they should not rake up trivial and insignificant issues and spread panic among the people.

Kisiang’ani was speaking at the Diamonds Leisure Beach and Golf Resort in Kwale county when he addressed the ICT Connected Summit 2023 running under the theme ‘Digital Economy: “Endless Opportunities Shaping Our Future”.

The PS noted that the future of work is now ICT-driven and urged media practitioners to always regulate their activities in the digital space.

“Digitalization has brought more opportunities to the media profession but has equally brought to the fore the need to uphold the highest level of ethical and professional standards and quality content,” he said, adding that they should remember that they are a part of the society too.

He says the Kenya Kwanza administration is cognizant of the fact that the media profession is a noble one that gives the general public an independent assessment at all times.

Professor Kisiang’ani said the media should embrace technology and high-tech innovations to expand their markets in the era of social media or be out of business.

He says the vision of the government is to transform the country into a digitally empowered society and knowledge-based economy.

Kisiang’ani says the government is implementing a national digital master plan (2022-2032) anchored on four pillars of digital infrastructure, digital services and data management, digital skills and innovations and enterprise and digital business.

The digital master plan seeks to provide the roadmap for the structured delivery of ICT and create a digital society and economy that is able to exploit the national, regional and global opportunities presented by the dynamic sector.

The plan incorporates the use of emerging technologies such as block chain, internet of things, artificial intelligence, big data and quantum computing among others.

“With the national digital master plan in place the state seeks to ensure that all government services are available to the citizens electronically,” he said adding that the digital plan is a blueprint for leveraging and deepening the contribution of the ICT sector to accelerate socio-economic growth.

By Hussein Abdullahi

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