World Press Freedom Day: MCK sustains calls for safety, security of journalists

The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) has expressed concern over threats to the lives and safety of journalists.

As the world commemorates Press Freedom Day, the Council’s Chief Executive Officer David Omwoyo reiterated the need by all and sundry to uphold the safety of journalists as they undertake their duties.

“The Council will continue advocating for journalists’ safety by involving stakeholders, including law enforcement agencies to address cases of harassment of journalists,” Omwoyo said in a statement Tuesday

He noted that MCK will continue pushing for efforts to provide a conducive working environment for journalists even as he called on the media owners to remunerate media workers appropriately to cushion them against rising costs of living, saying this ultimately translates to enhanced independence of the media.

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“The Council remains committed to working closely with and bringing together industry stakeholders to promote press freedom and to ensure professionalism in reportage of matters of national interest, even as we benchmark with global practices.” He said

Omwoyo disclosed that the Media Council of Kenya will this week host over 30 heads of press councils from across the world for their 19th Annual General Meeting of the World Association of Press Councils (WAPC). Top on the agenda of this meeting, according to Omwoyo, will be, among other things, deliberations regarding the impact of technological developments on freedom of expression, the safety of journalists, access to information, and privacy.

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He said there will also be discussions around media preparedness in harnessing opportunities and confronting emerging challenges in election coverage, the role of the media in fighting misinformation, and mental health as a priority in the post-COVID recovery.

“The Annual Media Summit will bring together policymakers, award-winning journalists, media representatives, specialized NGOs, activists, stakeholders in the field of media, Artificial Intelligence and ICT, and legal experts to explore and develop concrete solutions to current and emerging challenges to press freedom and privacy.” The MCK boss noted

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“By bringing stakeholders together around this theme, we recognize the paramountcy of exchange of information on issues affecting the media industry on the impact of technology on media sustainability, journalists’ safety, and privacy.” He added

At the same time, Omwoyo disclosed that the Annual Journalism Excellence Awards (AJEA), the 10th edition, will be held on Friday, May 6th, 2022.

  

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