MCK advocates for access to information

The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) has reiterated the critical role of journalists and media associations in advocating for media freedom.

MCK CEO David Omwoyo has at the same time urged media players to remain united on matters affecting their safety and protection and asked the journalists to stand for each other.

“As human rights defenders you should be your brother’s keeper because nobody will tell your story better than yourselves. If there is a threat or attack on your colleague, you have a responsibility to demand for better treatment and action”, Omwoyo told journalists at a human rights and access to information training in Kajiado.

He underscored the need to strengthen the role of human rights defenders to promote safety and protection of journalists, demand accountability and justice whenever human rights violations occur by breaking patterns of impunity to prevent future violations.

The CEO said that access to information was a prerequisite to investigative and public interest journalism and a source of credible stories that promote professionalism in the industry.

He also noted that the Council has partnered with other stakeholders to train journalists on various issues among them election preparedness.

“We have partnered with special interest organisations like Katiba Institute to train journalists on the importance of access to information as part of election preparedness”, said Omwoyo.

He said that the Council, through the Africa Media Academy, has been extending grants to journalists to facilitate them to cover stories on several matters of public interest.

“We have been giving grants to journalists that we have trained on various themes, and this is one of the categories that can be considered for such intervention so that the participants who have been trained can have an opportunity and facilitation to practice the capabilities and skills they have acquired’, noted Omwoyo.

The journalists were further urged to put duty bearers to task to make information available to the public to promote a culture of transparency and accountability.

“If you are denied information, make sure that you explore options in the appeal process. Do not be silent as it emboldens those who keep information from journalists’’, said Omwoyo.

He revealed that the Council in consultation with stakeholders is working on putting together a cross-media collaboration strategy on handling safety emergencies during election coverage.

The Media Council of Kenya has partnered with Katiba Institute to train journalists on access to information as part of election preparedness to enhance transparency and accountability.

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