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Media Council unveils committee on election coverage guidelines

The Media Council of Kenya has unveiled a new committee to oversee guidelines governing news coverage in preparation for the upcoming electioneering period.

During the inauguration of the technical team at a Nairobi hotel, the Media Council of Kenya Chief Executive Officer David Omwoyo stressed that the Council has set its eye on the upcoming general election to ensure that the media covers the elections effectively.

“As we prepare for the guidelines to be formulated within 22 days, I encourage all the media practitioners to focus on the issues of balance and creativity in reporting,” said Omwoyo hinting that the sudden increased curiosity in politics by media personalities could be due to selfish interests.

The CEO challenged the entire media fraternity, from print to broadcast, to hold elected leaders to account instead of attempting to influence the outcome of an election.

“Lack of integrity is like participating in a job description then you go around and apply for the same job,” he said.

He further presented a revised handbook which sheds more light on the Media Council of Kenya’s blue print to assist journalists look back at the events surrounding the 2013 and 2017 elections as they anticipate the next general elections through the guidelines provided by the taskforce.

The Chairman of the technical committee on election coverage guidelines Joseph Odindo assured support for the taskforce noting that the speedy formulation of the guidelines will mitigate the media from accusations associated with election coverage.

Odindo said “Elections can make or break a country, they make or break a journalist. In this regard, I am glad that the council is taking its role seriously in ensuring that media, the government and the electorate is managed as it should.”

The Chairman emphasized on the need for the taskforce to try its best to shelve the media from the perennial blame of trying to break the country.

By Michael Omondi and Mical Imbukwa

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