Media Council of Kenya (MCK) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) David Omwonyo has urged scribes to stick to media ethics, particularly when highlighting political stories during this electioneering season.
Speaking during the World Radio Day that was marked at Kibabii University, Omwoyo said Bungoma being one of the hot spot counties politically, requires that Journalists stick to the code of ethics when reporting political stories.
“We don’t want to experience what happened in 2007-2008,” he cautioned, adding that political stories should highlight issues that will help add value to people’s way of life.
He stated that MCK is planning to hold a training workshop with media experts and editors to train them on how their reporters will be covering elections.
“Next week the MCK has scheduled a meeting with media experts and editors to be appraised on election reporting guidelines for this year, which will then be up scaled to reporters in their respective media houses,” he said.
Mr Omwonyo said MCK will work closely with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), during the entire election period to ensure that politicians who threaten media practitioners aren’t cleared with IEBC.
“Politicians who want to intimidate journalists should not be given a chance to vie for seats, the press should not be intimidated, as it is the mirror of the society,” he added.
He also urged media owners and managers to ensure that journalist’s welfare is catered for to avoid gambling in radio stations.
“Media owners should ensure that their reporters and correspondents are paid well so that incidences of gambling are stopped in most media houses in the country,” he said, adding that MCK is determined to end the vice in the media industry.
Omwonyo said that MCK is determined to remove gambling in radio stations, saying that some media houses rely on gambling to generate income, but to a large extent it is affecting the community.
Bungoma County Commissioner, Samuel Kimiti, assured media personnel of adequate security during election time.
“Media is a very important tool in our daily activities as it shapes the country and ensures that information reaches the public on time,” he said.
Kimiti lauded the media for being on the forefront in sensitizing the community on the importance of enlisting as a voter.
“Bungoma didn’t attain hundred percent in the voter enlisting exercise and Covid-19 uptake, but I appreciate the job done by the media in informing the government and the public,” he said.
Kibabii Vice Chancellor, Professor Ipara Odeo, said that radio plays a very important role in education as it offers a means of communication as well as a learning avenue for learners.
The Kiswahili Scholar urged media managers, to also use the media outlets in enhancing Kiswahili teaching.
By Charleotte Wekesa and Roseland Lumwamu