Editors’ Guild launches training series on election reporting – Kenya News Agency

The Kenya Editors Guild (KEG) has launched a national training for journalists on election coverage ahead of the 2022 general election.

Training targeting county-based media professionals focuses on issues relating to professionalism and the code of ethics for the practice of journalism in the country.

KEG Chief Executive Officer Rosalia Omungo noted that the training addresses issues of election reporting, hate speech, combating false information, ethical and safety reporting as well as the safety of journalists during elections and elections. conflict situations.

A section of Kwale-based journalists who attended a media training workshop on election reporting organized by the Kenya Editors Guild. Photo by Hussein Abdullahi

Speaking in Kwale County at the end of a two-day workshop for local journalists, Omungo noted that KEG was determined to train journalists on how to deal with hate speech, inflammatory remarks and generally reporting in a conflict sensitive manner ahead of next year’s general conference. polls.

Rosalia said the series of capacity-building workshops aimed to equip journalists with the skills to inform and educate the public about hate speech as well as curb the transmission of hate speech without limiting freedom of expression.

She said the capacity building workshops that started last year aim to cover all 47 counties and will run until August 2022.

The CEC said the media must maintain a high level of professionalism as their coverage affects how voters assess candidates and political parties, adding that fair media coverage is vital for fair polls all over the world.

“The media should anchor and harness the culture and power of development communication that goes beyond the provision of information to help achieve the rapid socio-economic prosperity that Kenyans aspire to”, a- she declared.

The CEO urged media professionals to adhere to the journalistic code of conduct at all times and to avoid corrupt practices that endanger their reputation and personal safety.

She said the body of editors seeks to improve journalists’ knowledge to ensure accurate, objective and balanced coverage of election events during the campaign and polls.

Kenya Editors’ Guild administrator Macharia Gaitho highlighted the crucial role of the media in the country’s democratic process.

Gaitho, former chairman of the Kenya Editors’ Guild, noted that during an election period, the media face specific challenges, especially during the political transition.

He called on the media to discharge their public duty without fear or favor, adding that free, fair and peaceful elections are incumbent on the media by setting the agenda for the rest of society.

“Journalists must respect the ethics of the profession, especially in times of election campaign when politicians are likely to throw all kinds of obstacles to freedom of expression,” he said, adding that the media must project balanced and neutral coverage of the elections.

The senior editor and columnist said politicians should respect freedom of speech and information and not manipulate the media for their own selfish ends.

Gaitho said next year’s general election is a success or a breakthrough for Kenya and urged media professionals to show the utmost professionalism and patriotism in their election coverage.

He said the media have a responsibility to help keep peace in the country rather than creating conflict.

“If election-related violence breaks out, as it did in the 2007 general elections, even the media will not have the peaceful environment to carry out their operations,” he said.

He urged media professionals to refocus their coverage on problem-focused and development-focused campaigns rather than personality-based campaigns.

Gaitho noted that journalists should take social responsibility for fairness and balanced reporting for the overall development of the country.

Media consultant George Sunguh urged the media to reject politicians spewing hate speech and seeking to divide Kenyans along ethnic and religious lines, “because it is a sure recipe for violence,” a- he noted.

Sunguh urged the media to ban politicians spitting hate speech in the August 2022 general election countdown.

He said hate speech is snowballing into a major national problem ahead of the next election as politicians appear to have rejected caution, “if the way they attacked each other is any indicator,” he added.

“Journalists should leave a lot of room for politicians and political parties without any kind of in-depth view of the country,” he said, adding that the media should be agents of social and economic progress and not agents of unhappiness. .

By Hussein Abdullahi

General Election 2022 Kenya Editors Guild (KEG) National training for journalists on election coverage