Press freedom is paramount for societal growth in Kenya
By DrNjenga Solomon
| July 11th 2016
Press freedom is paramount to societal growth and enlightenment. Indeed, freedoms of speech, expression and of the press are essential for people to speak their mind freely on important issues. For a healthy development of a society it is essential for people to speak their minds freely on important issues. Kenya’s 2010 constitution is widely praised for expanding freedoms of expression and of the press, specifically by prohibiting the state from interfering with the editorial independence of individual journalists and both state-owned and private media outlets. The constitution also binds Kenya to a series of international and regional legal instruments governing free expression, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
Barriers and limited access to press freedom block the voices of marginalized people about their ideas, opinions, concerns and needs. It is crucial to have liberty of speech because it is fundamental for all human beings and it supports many other rights, allowing them to flourish. Radios, TV, newspapers, Internet and social media have created an exceptional opportunity for free speech for human rights activists, journalists and leaders, but this platforms should be used meaningfully and responsibly to enable societal growth and for people to communicate in a respectful and responsible manner. Individuals, companies and the government need to ensure that user’s privacy is preserved and protected. In this way, this freedom can play a great role for bringing a social and political change and enable people to defend their basic rights.
Freedom of speech equals societal enlightenment and must therefore produce positive results when it is applied at the right place and for the right reasons but while technology provides us with opportunities, there are some risks and challenges as well.
Dr. Njenga, Solomon Ph.D
Dean - School of Governance, Peace and Security
Africa Nazarene University, Kenya
DISCLAIMER: These are my own views and NOT of the Institution I work for
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