The Media Council of Kenya has issued a statement cautioning politicians to refrain from threatening journalists or media houses during their political campaigns.
According to MCK, a good number of journalists have received threats from politicians in relation to the August 9 General Election.
The Council noted that the threats are a violation of the freedom of media practitioners and therefore those involved should stay warned.
“The Media Council of Kenya is concerned about the increasing incidences of profiling of and threats to individual journalists and media outlets by politicians related to 2022 General Election campaigns.
“The Council is disturbed that such threats are likely to incite the public and political supporters against the media and may thus expose journalists and media practitioners to violations of their rights as they go about their rightful duties,” the statement read in part.
The statement authored by the Media Council CEO David Omwoyo details that in the past five months the council has received 45 cases of press freedom violation – giving the example of Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi’s verbal attack against Citizen TV.
“We particularly take note of the latest verbal attack against Citizen TV by Kapseret Member of Parliament Oscar Sudi vide a social media post meant to intimidate the editorial discretion of the station. Hon Sudi’s statement comes after similar threats by South Mugirango Member of parliament Hon Silvanus Osoro who castigated the media outlet for biased reporting,” the statement said.
Omwoyo added that: “We advise politicians and the public that Kenya’s media and journalist are guided by a professional code of conduct, with sufficient mechanisms for self-regulations, both as an industry or at personal level. The council encourages Kenyans and particularly who feel aggrieved by the conduct of the media to seek redress through the Media Complaints Commission, which is established under the Media Council Act, 213 to address media-related disputes.”