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Journalists urged to get accredited ahead of election

The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) has urged journalists who wish to report on the General Election scheduled for August to get accredited beforehand.

Speaking to the press after a training with Kisii scribes at a hotel in Kisii town, MCK’s Director for Media Training and Development Victor Bwire, said the electoral activities had started in preparation for the poll and the accreditation process would assist in setting apart professional journalists from individuals who walk around with cameras and recorders claiming to be journalists.

“If you want to report on elections this year, you have to get accreditation from MCK because this official recognition, will be required by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) for further accreditation to report on the election,” said Bwire.

The Director pointed out that journalists have a huge responsibility of covering the election in a professional and peaceful manner which would assist Kenyans to elect leaders who would address their needs.

“Journalists are not contestants in this election. Their work is to provide platforms for analysis and trends and highlight party manifestos and their candidates so that in the end, Kenyan voters can elect leaders whom they know and understand their plans,” added Bwire.

He noted that MCK is supporting journalists through training on election reporting since there were scribes who were going to provide coverage on elections for the first time.

The Director said they addressed the issue of safety and protection among journalists because there were journalists who had started receiving threats in their line of duty.

Bwire urged journalists to stay safe during this election period saying there were individuals with ill motives who were using social media platforms to target and troll journalists.

Kisii Journalists Welfare Association Chairman Joshua Araka, said the training on election coverage came at the right time, especially for members who were new to the journalism profession.

He expressed his gratitude to MCK for supporting the training and urged all media stakeholders including the political leaders to support journalists who would be delivering messages from candidates.

By Mercy Osongo

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