MCK leads series of media trainings ahead of general election
The Media Council of Kenya has conducted a series of trainings for journalists ahead of the general election.
The trainings revolve around the guidelines for election coverage.
Through support of United Nations Development Program and other partners, the Council has already trained over 200 trainers to enable faster roll out of the trainings across counties.
The combined effort of the Council and the trainers has seen over 2000 journalists trained ahead of the elections.
The trainers include journalism trainers, editors and senior reporters who in turn have been training journalists and other media personalities who shall be covering the elections.
“The trainings are aimed at enhancing journalists’ skills to report elections and related issues professionally… this is media’s contribution to a free, fair and credible elections.” says Victor Bwire, Deputy CEO, Media Council of Kenya.
Most media houses have also conducted in-house trainings for their members to ensure the country conducts a free, fair and a credible election.
Other partners supporting the trainings include, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, National Cohesion and Integration Commission, UN Women, Communication Authority of Kenya, United States of America Embassy in Kenya Handicap International, Life and Peace Institute, UNESCO, Kenya National Commission for UNESCO, Kenya Union of Journalists, Kenya Correspondents Association, Africa Check, Agakhan University’s Graduate School of Media and Communications and Safer World.
Speaking during a recent training in Nakuru on Conflict Sensitive Reporting, the Council’s Training Coordinator Ms Ruth Kwamboka said the ongoing trainings are meant to aid media cover the elections professionally without jeopardizing objectivity and peace.
Topics covered during the trainings include: gender sensitive reporting, safety and security of journalists, conflict sensitive reporting, fact checking and debunking fake news, Disability Sensitive Reporting, hate speech, reporting on people with disabilities and youth. Other topics include: how to debunk fake news and how to report on opinion polls.
Already the Council has conducted trainings for top editors across the country and trained hundreds of journalists across the counties.
Usually journalists from neighbouring counties are clustered and convened in a central location for training.
Some of the venues for the trainings include: Nairobi, Naivasha, Machakos, Mwingi, Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu, Kisii, Siaya, Embu, and Meru.
About the Election Reporting Guideline
The guidelines were a result of collaborative efforts among media and various organisations that have a stake in ensuring a credible, valid, free and fair, acceptable, peaceful and democratic general election and its proper coverage by the media.
The guidelines reflect the Code of Conduct for the Practice of Journalism in Kenya, the requirements of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and other pieces of legislation. The booklet is arranged in a simple and logical format for ease of reference.
The guidelines cover a wide range of issues, which include:
- Balance and fairness
- Corruption (as it affects media practitioners)
- Gender responsiveness
- Diversity and inclusion of people and ideas
- Conflict-sensitive journalism
- Opinion polls
- Equitable coverage
- Voter education
- Social media
- Safety and security
- Fake news
- Reporting on people with disabilities and the youth
By James Ratemo, firstname.lastname@example.org