Media Council issues guidelines to journalists seeking political office
The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) has issued a directive for journalists and media practitioners seeking political seats in the 2022 general elections.
In a statement MCK issued on Thursday, August 19, the regulatory body stated that journalists who want to run for political office should resign from their posts ahead of the August 2022 polls.
"As it applies in the public service where civil servants intending to vie for political office are required to leave office six months to elections and are under strict edicts not to use their space and influence to campaign for political office, the media is no exception," MCK announced.
While stating that it has received complaints from elected leaders about journalists, especially talk show hosts who are using their positions for personal attacks and political mileage, MCK cautioned that journalists and editors wield an important weapon and power which requires them to be beyond reproach.
"The Council is committed to ensure that all journalists and media practitioners adhere to the expected standards and in line with the Code of Conduct for the Practice of journalists in Kenya," MCK said.
In his statement, MCK CEO David Omwoyo cautioned journalists against early campaigns noting: "We expect journalists and media practitioners intending to vie for elective positions not to use their positions to influence their campaigns or to attack or deny their opponents rightful space to sell their agenda.”
Weighing in on the debate, Joe Odindo, the Chairman of the committee to review the elections reporting guidelines said, "elections can make or break a country and media is key in any election. My team is up to the task and I am optimistic that we will give guidelines that can be enforced during the elections".
The committee to review the elections reporting guidelines comprises of journalists and editors from various media houses in the country.
Members of the committee include Jamila Mohamed, Jane Godia, Njeri Rugene, Sarah Kimani, Alphonce Shiundu, Bernard Mwinzi, David Okwembah and David Aduda.
Others are Sophia Wanuna, Felix Olik, Samuel Maina, Khamadi Shitemi, David Mwere, Henry Owino, Alex Ikambi Mwangi, Dr George Nyabuga, Ahosi K'Obonyo, Moses Njagi, Oscar Obonyo and Judie Kaberia.