Kisumu County Security Administrators have urged journalists to embrace conflict-sensitive reporting as the country dives into campaigning season ahead of the forthcoming general elections.
County Commissioner Josephine Ouko while speaking to the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) officials at her office asserted that the media has a crucial role in promoting peace and order in the society especially at this period when the countdown to the 2022 general elections begins.
“There is need to enhance capacity of journalists to enable them convey the right information around governance, democratic processes and other matters of public interest,” Ouko noted.
The administrator called for synergy between local administrative units and the scribes as they both exist for public good. “We are ready to work with the media and offer any support needed, including providing accurate information,” she affirmed.
“Let us ensure that only qualified and accredited journalists are accorded their rightful place to undertake their duties; they should uphold responsibility in their reporting,” added the County Commissioner.
Additionally, Ouko lauded media professionals for their contributions in creating awareness around the Covid-19 pandemic, saying media reports have enhanced safety measures among the County residents.
The meeting was also attended by Kisumu County Police Commander Samuel Anampiu who commended members of the fourth estate for their effort in educating the public on safety and security.
“Let us also work together in identifying rogue journalists who use their positions to create animosity and target individuals through blackmail and extortion,” warned Anampiu.
The police boss also called for enhanced efforts to arbitrate in media disputes.
Meanwhile Kisumu County Government has pledged to support the media by working together to enhance professionalism and objective reporting.
The MCK staff who were on a tour in the lakeside county met with the county officials on Tuesday where the parties agreed to collaborate to enhance training of journalists in the area emphasizing on the Code of Conduct for the Practice of Journalism as well as safety and security of journalists.
“We would like to see more quality stories coming from our journalists as this have repercussions on their continued access to information. Accurate reporting guarantees them more access to the right information,” said John Oywa, the acting Chief of staff and Chief Officer Information and Public Communication, Kisumu County.
“Some journalists use the excuse of denial of access to information so as to report one-sided stories, which is against the code of ethics,” he observed.
The County officials also proposed for the regulation of social media, saying some bloggers have been using the space to malign and spread malicious news. “Our doors are open to journalists,” said Oywa.
Furthermore, the County welcomed collaborations with the Media watchdog to enhance the capacity of its staff, ultimately contributing to enhance professional reporting and better working relations with the media.
By Robert Ojwang’