Media houses have been called upon to practise responsible journalism during this electioneering period to promote peace and security in the country.
Information, Communications and Technology Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru said this is critical where the media is required to be vigilant of people out to use them to drive personal and selfish agenda and vendetta.
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Speaking today during the Commemoration of the World Press Freedom Day at a Nairobi hotel, Mr Mucheru said as gate-keepers of the public, the media should not compromise their professional ethics and vigilance to allow external forces to advance their agenda that would harm innocent citizens and distabilise the country.
“Your patriotic duty is to adhere to the code of ethics of objectivity, fairness and balanced coverage and not sacrifice reporting for the sake of profits or handouts,” added the CS.
Mr Mucheru said the government considers the media as a crucial partner in driving the country’s development agenda and would continue to provide them with a conducive environment to operate and flourish.
He, however, asked the media to refocus their coverage on development rather than criticizing the government, noting that time has come for the media to build synergies and put emphasis on the implementation of strategic partnerships that would lead to a stronger media sector in the country and entire African region.
The CS said the government will protect the media working space, as well as take punitive measures against those assaulting journalists.
“We regret the isolated instances where journalists have been harassed, beaten or even lost their lives in their line of duty. This situation is unacceptable,” said Mr Mucheru.
He said the government acknowledges that freedom of the press is a prerequisite for democracy since media have a critical role in shaping credible political formations and their legitimacy.
“We also appreciate the role media plays in promoting good governance and harmonization of political relationships during mediation,” added Mucheru.
He asked the media to monitor their performance regularly and engage stakeholders on policy, media law and regulation to safeguard the developed media ecosystem and freedom.
Present at the event, were the Principal Secretary (PS) for Broadcasting and Telecommunications Sammy Itemere and the Chairman of the Media Council of Kenya Charles Kerich, among others.