Katiba Institute and the Media Council of Kenya on 22 July 2022 hosted a Media Summit on Elections to evaluate the performance of players in the election discourse, provide a platform for open discussion between the media and duty bearers on salient issues of election coverage especially on access to information and safety of journalists, and propose modalities to strengthen media election coverage plans.
Players in the electoral process got an opportunity to share their level of preparedness as the 2022 general election nears. The key institutions who shared their work around elections include The Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, the National Cohesion and Integration Commission, the National Police Service, Office of the Registrar of Political Parties.
State Department for Broadcasting and Telecommunications Principal Secretary (PS) Ms Esther Koimett said the media needs access to credible, timely and reliable information and declared full support from the Ministry through the MCK to help strengthen professionalism by Media practitioners in their role of oversight during elections.
“In the context of election, access to information is important for enabling citizens to constructively participate in the electoral process in all phases, pre, during and post elections and be able to hold public officers accountable in delivering their responsibilities,” said Ms. Koimett.
Media Council of Kenya CEO Mr. David Omwoyo highlighted key milestones the Council has achieved in preparation for the upcoming elections. This includes the training of over 3,000 journalists across the various media platforms.
“The Council has trained 3,000 journalists across the various media platforms. We are in the process of creating media centres around the country for journalists to converge and file their stories during elections”, said Mr. Omwoyo.
Christine Kuria, the Operations Manager at Katiba Institute lauded the partnership between KI and Media Council of Kenya on their election-related interventions. Christine noted that with the challenges of misinformation and disinformation, the mainstream media should step up to provide credible information. She cited Article 35 of the Constitution as a critical law towards information integrity.
“Kenyans require information on laws passed by Parliament, and the impact of these laws, particularly electoral related laws and their impact on the free, fair, credible and verifiable elections. Kenyans also require information on judicial pronouncements and what the judgements mean to them as voters and their choice of candidates.” Christine observed.