The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) has made some serious allegations against the Kenyan media. MCK alleges an emerging trend where media coverage “displays a betrayal of public interest and violation of the Code of Conduct for the Practice of Journalism”.
Further, it claims to have established “a worrying trend of screaming headlines without corresponding content alongside multiple repetition of headlines over a short period of time”.
The council says it carried out ‘a close and critical analysis of media content in the last few months’, and proceeds to bastardise Kenyan journalism without providing a shred of evidence to prove the allegations.
The council has every right to audit the media and also call out journalists and media houses engaged in unethical practices. But this calls for clarity of thought, mission and rigour, which are all in big shortage at MCK. Recent events suggest we are dealing with a censor and lapdog, not an industry regulator.
SEE ALSO: Covid-19: Kericho-based FM station shuts after 9 staff members test positive
The council is relentlessly posturing as an extension of the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, often anticipating, echoing and even amplifying the minister’s fears.
So deep is the craving to ‘belong’ that the current leadership is shamelessly refracting its mandate through populist and partisan eyes of the Executive. Perhaps this is the problem of staffing such an important institution with individuals whose loyalty lies with the government and not journalism.
To allow such parochialism to lord it over our journalism is to engender the greatest tragedy of our times. It’s time for change at MCK.