Media Council of Kenya to unveil election coverage guidelines

Simon Maina AFP Getty
Photo: Simon Maina/AFP/Getty

A conference in Kisumu, Kenya will today approve updated guidelines on election coverage launched by The Media Council of Kenya.

Launched on Thursday, the guidelines were considered by a committee of representatives from media houses, freelance professionals and other media outlets.

Chairman of the Media Council of Kenya Maina Muiruri, has said the revised guidelines will function as a vital internal oversight tool and will be a key strategy in ensuring next year’s general elections are free, fair and peaceful.

The update comes as just last Friday two men posing as media professionals were charged with forging press cards and misleading authorities. This incident follows a concerning rise in influencers being hired to spread disinformation by smearing journalists and activists on social media.

In the short term, expect the Complaints Commission of the Media Council to strictly monitor and enforce the updated guidelines during and surrounding coverage of the forthcoming 2022 General Elections.

In the longer term, expect the self-regulatory mechanisms put in place today to have limited success. The campaign’s success will likely depend upon people’s trust in the media to effectively self-regulate. At best potentially this tactic may end up serving an argument for parties the media covers to demonstrate the media is unbiased.

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