By Raylenne Kambua,
Journalists in Laikipia have been urged to always adhere to the Code of Conduct for the Practice of Journalism in their work.
In an election reporting training conducted by the Kenya Editors’ Guild at Sportsman’s Arms Hotel on June 18th and 19th, the journalists were reminded to be fair, accurate and impartial.
KEG member Eric Shimoli, one of the trainers, said there were three interlocking rights at the core of election reporting that must be observed. These are the right of the voter, the right of the candidates and the right of the media to report.
KEG council member -TV, Joseph Bonyo encouraged the journalists to be accurate. He advised that in cases of doubt, they should confirm with trusted sources and give those adversely mentioned in stories the opportunity to tell their side. ‘We should not allow ourselves to be purveyors of fake news, especially now that we are going into an election period,’ he said.
Giving balanced news was an important factor to consider when covering elections to avoid unfair reportage.
Linda Bach, KEG council member -Print, asked the journalists to resist the temptation to take bribes to manipulate stories.
The journalists were also trained on strategies to ensure their safety and security during elections, conflict reporting and hate speech detection.
‘Be cautious when covering conflict, make a mental map of the area you are covering and do proper risk assessment,’’ said Patrick Rukwaro, a KEG member.
The two-days training was held after a town hall meeting on 17th June with leaders in the county attended by leaders of various sectors and ordinary people.
Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi asked the media to hold power to account in their reporting.
But he also urged the media to give room for positive stories from the communities. Only when that happens will Kenyans realise that there are so many good things happening in the country.
The meeting was attended by leaders from the government, community and religions sectors among others. They were given an opportunity to hear how the media interact with audiences and their role in the society.