Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology has received modern digital equipment worth sh70 million as part of a project to revamp and modernise Kenya News Agency (KNA).
ICT CS Joe Mucheru said the equipment which includes digital cameras, video editing machines and laptops among other is intended to facilitate field stations better disseminate public information on government development programmes at the grassroots.
Addressing County Information Officers during a three day training workshop held in Naivasha town, the CS appreciated the fact that the government had enhanced the CIOs role by appointing them to sit in the County Development Implementation Coordination Committees (CDICC) which are critical avenues to achieving the Big 4 Agenda.
The CS however, lamented over what he said was deliberate misinformation and negative publicity being perpetuated by unpatriotic mass and social media saying this has continued to hurt government development programmess across the country.
Mucheru regretted that negative publicity by a section of the Kenyan media was hampering the ongoing fight against corruption and other critical government programmes.
He cited the recently launched Huduma Namba registration exercise as one of the programmes getting negative publicity and warned that the government will not tolerate anyone out to frustrate its development efforts.
He referred to the recent labeling of the HudumaNamba registration as demonic saying it demonstrated the poor public perceptions created by a few misinformed persons.
He added that the media was in a position to correct such perceptions through responsible reportage.
He said liberalisation of the Kenyan airwaves which brought into play unprofessional and irresponsible media players whose interests were profit driven was to blame.
This, he said, emanates from the increasing level of media competition which has ignored the interests of the audiences who consume their products.
Saying that stability of any given country depends on the kind of information fed to its citizens, the CS assured that the government was committed to ensuring that Kenyans consumed real and accurate information that promotes cohesion and harmony among different communities in the country.
Mucheru added that the government had embarked on a process of revamping and modernising KNA and KBC through capacity building for the officers and procurement of modern equipment in an effort to facilitate the two institutions to competently disseminate public information on government programmes.
He said it was through KNA that the public could know of the on-going government programmes and be able to actively participate in the management of their resources at the grassroots.
“Kenya News Agency must become the defacto source of real news in the country,” the CS stated.
The CS who was accompanied by information secretary Judy Munyinyi at the same time challenged the CIOs to rise to the occasion and play their roles competently by ensuring dissemination to the public, information that will bring a difference to Kenyans as far as development is concerned.
By Esther Mwangi/Anne Mwale