The Cabinet Secretary for Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) Joe Mucheru has said, the government will take action against perpetrators of violence against journalists in the country.
Mr Mucheru said the government was concerned over increasing incidenses of intimidation and attacks against journalists while on their assignments causing fear and anxiety among media practitioners.
Speaking when he inaugurated the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) Board today at a Nairobi hotel, Mr. Mucheru said ‘media freedom was a pre-requisite for democracy’ and reiterated that the government will protect the freedom of the press as guaranteed in the Constitution.
On media coverage of the forth coming general elections, Mr Mucheru urged practitioners in the industry to avoid coverage that propagate division and ethnic hatred in the society.
He called on journalists to give balanced, objective and fair coverage of events and resist external forces who attempt to use media to advance selfish agenda that militate against interest of the audience and readers.
The CS said the Ministry will work closely with stakeholders to instill professionalism in the media industry and shut out quacks. He lauded the Media Council of Kenya for developing a press card verification system aimed at screening unprofessional people who purport to be journalists.
He called for maintenance of standards in the media and urged media owners to improve remunerations for their reporters to guard against possible compromise of their staff by corrupt newsmakers.
The Cabinet Secretary said Media Council of Kenya should uphold its mandate to safeguard the rights and privileges of practitioners and the citizens. He said while ensuring the protection of journalists, the Council should also demand professionalism and accountability among media workers.
He said the public must be given opportunity to raise their grievances against conduct and behavior of Journalists and Media houses.
On the National ICT policy, the cabinets Secretary said the ministry has prepared a policy document that will address ICT, broadcasting and online media and called on the industry to submit their proposal to ensure the policy is comprehensive.
22nd September 2016