The Kenya Editors’ Guild has slammed the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) for issuing a statement accusing media houses of biased reporting.
MCK in a statement issued on February 27, 2020 entitled ‘Seek the truth and report it – cause no harm’ accused media houses of “betrayal of public interest and violations of the Code of Conduct for the Practice of Journalism in Kenya”.
The statement further claimed there was a pattern of screaming headlines without corresponding and appropriate content, multiple repetitions of headlines over a short period of time, as well as partisan and skewed coverage and presentation of news and current affairs.
The Editors’ Guild has termed the media council’s statement as an affront to media and editorial integrity and credibility.
“These are very serious accusations. If upheld, they amount to severe indictment of the Kenyan media, and questions the integrity and credibility of not only the media, but also editors and journalists… We are perplexed that beyond generalised and blanket condemnation, MCK does not cite any example of the breaches of the Code of Conduct complained of.
“Neither is there any indication as to the identity of any aggrieved party that may have lodged a complaint. We find this irresponsible and negligent at the least, since it is the same MCK the houses the entity with a legal mandate to arbitrate in the media – the Complaints Commission,” states the Kenya Editors Guild.
The Editors body is now demanding a withdraw of the statement and apology.“We ask MCK to provide any evidence on which its statement was based, or withdraw the statement and apologise to the media, journalists and Kenyans,” adds the guild.