Media Council meets voi, Taita Taveta journalists and practitioners

The Media Council of Kenya together with other stakeholders held a forum in conjunction with the journalist and other practitioners of Taita Taveta county on Wednesday 2nd March at The Two Oceans Hotel. The exercise aimed at identifying the gaps present in the previous Kenya media policy guidelines with a key goal of improving and developing a new policy document to serve the next phase..

The Media Council of Kenya is a national body mandated to develop and regulate the media industry in Kenya. Their main aim being promotion of media freedom, professionalism and independence.

The forums facilitator Mr Henry Maina, engaged the journalist present on matters to do with helping the body come up with new guidelines that are going to protect all the stakeholders involved in the media space.

Journalists alike were bold enough to come forward with the different suggestions that hoped would be addressed and probably be included in the new revamped guidelines that are yet to be set following the expiry of the 2009 -2019 guidelines.

Henry Maina, Chairman of the Taskforce addressing the attendees.

Some of the key reasons that prompted this exercise were cited as technological advancements in the media space, constitutional amendments within the same period alongside other peripheral by-laws relevant to the media industry.

Some of the gaps the journalists presented included; creation of one journalism examination body, creation of bodies and.or laws that will aim at protecting whistle-blowers, the implementation of watershed periods in all media stations, freedom of expression among others.

The afternoon session required the journalist to front ideas on how journalistic standards could be restored back to its glory.

The topic at hand was as a result of an observation that journalists were no longer being held in high regard simply due to the numerous corruption cases connected to some of them, and sometimes pushing/ publishing stories that lack solid credibility.

Some of the suggestions fronted were the introduction of journalism training programs that will aim to equip these individuals with the skills needed to execute their tasks, giving journalists enough time to follow through a story and come up with a credible and reliable source and not pressurize them into submitting whatever information they have etcetra.

A section of members following the proceedings

The interactive forum was eye-opening regarding policies and guidelines for the Media industry at large. The facilitators pointed out that while most of the ideas and proposals were substantially valid, some still needed further deliberation and thorough evaluation before deciding which, were fit for inclusion.

‘Stakeholder feedback is necessary and the task force encourages proposal submissions towards the new policy development and improvement.’ Henry Maina, the chairman of the task force pointed out.

‘The session was quite enlightening and it is a commendable consideration by the task force to reach out for the grassroots views and opinions’ A media proprietor observed.

Cumulatively, much was shared between and discussed by the facilitators and stakeholders alike in both the segmented morning and afternoon sessions.

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