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Media urged to report ethically

Media practitioners have been urged to report ethically and accurately as the country gears towards the 2022 general election.

Speaking during a media training workshop at one of the local hotels in Migori town, the Assistant Project Officer for Peace and Security Network (PEACENET) Bollette Otieno cautioned participating Journalists about writing or reporting stories that may fuel chaos during campaigns.

PEACENET is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that was formed after the 2007 Post election violence that rocked the country. The NGO has been operating in Migori County since 2007 to ensure that peace and stability is maintained during and after elections.

Otieno said that Migori County has been marked as a hot spot whenever there are elections and the major aim of the training was to ensure that media practitioners adhere to their journalistic ethics and profession while doing and filing their stories.

“Our main focus as PEACENET is to achieve security, enhance development and network with various organs like security agencies, community policing and media practitioners to ensure that our county is safe and secure during and after elections,” stated Otieno.

He noted that occasionally the media has been blamed for fueling violence through reporting. He stated that the purpose of the media was to enlighten the society on the need for peace especially during election times.

The official said that Migori County was a multi ethnic county and the PEACENET aim was to ensure that they spread the gospel of peace. He said that the media was a perfect institution to propel the message across the 8 sub counties.

He urged the county politicians to have focused campaigns that are driven by ideologies and visions but not cheap campaigns that tend to confuse, saying that Kenyan politics have grown from politics of violence to politics of ideas.

The officer acknowledged that the existence of PEACENET in other counties has given them a platform for information sharing. The NGO is currently operating in Wajir, Turkana, Samburu and Nairobi Counties which are perceived to be hot spots regions during elections.

The NGO also coordinates with local capacity building like the District Physical Committees (DPC) formed by both Kenyan and Tanzanian residents living along the border in Kuria Sub Counties.  

Otieno said that the District Physical Committees was an important aspect of the Kuria Community that has helped address the issues of rampant cattle rustling in Kuria.

“The District Physical Committees with the help of PEACENET, national and county government has significantly helped to reduce the cattle rustling in Kuria. It’s through this partnership, devotion and identity that peace can be achieved,” said Otieno.

PEACENET will be heading to Kuria Sub counties early next month to train the Kuria media practitioners. The NGO also trained bloggers and social media users early this week on issues of security and peace.

He said that harmonizing the media industry was an important aspect of developing and making peace.

By Geoffrey Makokha

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