ICT CS Eliud Owalo Pledges to Defend Media Freedom

  • Eliud Owalo
    Information, Communications and Digital Economy Cabinet Secretary (CS) Eliud Owalo addressing a sitting in Nairobi
    Capital Group
  • Information, Communications and Digital Economy Cabinet Secretary (CS) Eliud Owalo has assured the media, the government’s commitment to defend its freedom.

    Speaking at an event to commemorate the International Day to End Impunity For Crimes Against Journalists, the CS expressed the commitment of the government to closely work with members of the fourth estate.

    He said though conflicts may arise, the government was willing to look at the media as partners in matters governance and not competitors.

    Kenyan journalists during a press conference in a past event
    Kenyan journalists during a press conference in a past event
    KBC

    “Even as we continue to respect these freedoms, we recognize that social conflict and divergence of opinion is part of a health society. Any society without some level of conflict is a dead society,” the CS said.

    He urged editors to refrain from unethical coverage, sensational content and misinformation of the masses pointing that they have a duty to protect other citizens. The CS also warned against internal conflicts in work stations and deviant behaviour that undermine other players in the industry.

    "Journalists must learn to work together. It is awkward that on a day as important as this, the Kenyan journalism fraternity is pulling in different directions,” the CS said.

    He defended the government by stating that it is not the enemy, and that often false assumptions of different organs such as law enforcement are made to make them look like perpetrators towards members of the press.

    Kenya marked the International Day to End Impunity For Crimes Against Journalists, days after  Pakistani Journalist  Arshad Shariff who was visiting Kenya was shot and killed pending the release of an investigative piece he was working on.

    “The killing of Arshad Mohammed Shariff is being handled by relevant arms of government who include the Ministry of Interior and that of Foreign Affairs. When the information is out it will be disseminated,” he reinforced.

    Addressing various media stakeholders, all key speakers reiterated the need to uphold media freedom and protect journalists against harassment.

    Media Council of Kenya (MCK) in collaboration with Katiba Institute also marked the day with emphasis on media independence and safe practices.

    "Journalists are attacked and the perpetrators are not brought to book. We look forward to working with the government to ensure press freedom is upheld in the country and laws that protect journalists are tightened," MCK CEO, David Omwoyo said.

    On his part, Superintendent of Police and Head of Public Information Jared Ojuok called for awareness among journalists on their role, especially in reporting crime.

    "There is need for enhanced sensitisation of journalists on their role in reporting acts of impunity for crimes against. The police and media are like the two sides of a coin," Ojuok stated.

    Media Council of Kenya CEO David Omwoyo
    Media Council Of Kenya CEO, David Omwoyo addressing a gathering at the International Day to End Impunity For Crimes Against Journalists in Nairobi.
    Media Council of Kenya
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