The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) has called upon journalists to use radio outlets in reporting stories and news that will promote peace in the country.
Speaking during the World Radio Day celebrations in Mombasa, MCK Chief Executive Officer (CEO), David Omwoyo, said that many a times some radio stations have been caught up in cases where they have been accused of inciting communities against each other.
Omwoyo called upon journalists to carry out their professional duty with due diligence, while exercising good judgment of news stories that they relay to the public.
The CEO urged journalists to be responsible and remain as neutral as possible and stop playing the role of activists while on duty.
“Make sure when you are packaging your content, its result will bring peace. Do not report to cause problems but to solve problems,” he said.
He noted that, the world radio day was proclaimed early in 2011 by the UNESCO member states and later adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012 to celebrate radio broadcast.
Omwoyo said the theme being Radio for Peace is very interesting as radio can be used to create and help spread peace, as it is listened to by a wider community.
He noted that if Radio is not used for peace it can cause a lot of harm.
He further said, apart from preaching peace, radio can be used to help find the source of a problem in case people are dealing with an issue that wants to be resolved.
“We appreciate those who have strategies for peace like the patanisho program in one of the local radio stations,” he said.
The CEO also asked governments to give media support and let them access information whenever they need to broadcast content.
He added that there is a lack of information which leads to spreading of fake news.
Omwoyo asked media owners to employ peaceful people, noting that the radio can broadcast peaceful content under responsible people.
His sentiments were echoed by Mombasa Acting County Commissioner, Ronald Mwiwawi, who urged journalists to be careful on what they broadcast, saying some content has scared away investors and tourists who bring revenue to the country.
Mwiwawi noted that several investors have turned down their interest to visit Mombasa after hearing a lot of content from media on juvenile gangs, dismissing that on ground when they come things are different.
The Administrator said that the security team in the County is open to any journalist who needs information, but urged them to remain responsible while releasing the content to the public.
Mombasa Governor, Abdulswamad Nassir, said that radio has been used to promote dignity in the community, help the young exploit their talents.
He promised to work hand in hand with local media houses to enhance peace and security in Mombasa.
Nassir said in ensuring that journalists are motivated, the County Government will introduce media awards to the local media houses and prioritize them in giving out adverts.
“As long as there is no element of conflict that binds the County Government in a legal system, we are going to cooperate and give media information. Plans are underway to revive the county ICT Department, to help the media access information,” he said.
By Chari Suche and Shamim Musa