Bureau Chiefs, Editors, & Station Managers to hold Consultative Forum with IEBC, the Media Council and the UNDP ahead of the general election in Kenya next year .
Posted by African Press International on July 25, 2016
By Dickens Wasonga
As Kenyans heads for another general election slated for August next year,the focus now shift on how prepared the Media in the country is to ensure coverage of the polls is fair,transparent and objective.
Independence of the Media while dealing with the election related topics will be of great interest not only to the Kenyan news consumers who looks up to it to be above board, but other observers.
This informs the decision taken by the Media Council of Kenya to partner with the the United Development Program (UNDP )and the electoral body, IEBC to engage the Media in discussing and interrogating some of the key thematic issues surrounding the coverage of the polls.
On Thursday this week the partnership will host a consultative forum at a Kisumu hotel which is expected to be graced by the bureau chiefs, editors and station managers from various media houses in the country.
According Media council of Kenya training coordinator Ruth Kwamboka, The focus of the engagement will touch on the capacity building of media to deal adequately with reporting elections including training journalists on all aspects of election cycle, professionalism, the role of media in democracy, governance and general social development.
Overarching in this training will be ethical principles in reporting elections emphasizing on independence and fairness among other values.
The Media was blamed for fanning election violence that rocked the nation in 2007 when poll results were disputed with claims of rigging by the opposition.
A number of organizations faulted the way political rallies and campaigns were covered by the press and in most occasions the Media failed to sensor statements made by politicians in some of the campaign meetings which were deemed inciting .
Some media outlets were openly biased and made sure they tilted news coverage in favor of some candidates and as the country head to another election, the Media must not fall into that trap again if it is to help set the agenda for peaceful, fair and Democratic polls which will be accepted across the board.