PS Fatuma Mohamed urges close media, Govt ties

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Broadcasting Principal Secretary Fatuma Hirsi Mohamed (left) and Ugandan MP Paul Amoru at the opening of a media training programme sponsored by Swedish International Development Agency on February 12, 2019. PHOTO | COURTESY 

By LEONARD ONYANGO
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A top government official has urged the media to strengthen ties with the government, saying the two institutions can work together without putting at risk independence of the press.

Speaking on Tuesday during the opening of the International Training Program project that is sponsored by Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency in Nairobi, Broadcasting Principal Secretary Fatuma Mohamed said such ties have not negatively impacted the media’s watchdog role.

“There is always a confluence between the government intention for its citizen and the media focus on public interest matters. Media and government should strengthen this confluence but at the same time maintain its independence,” said Ms Mohamed.

The PS also urged the media to publish stories that celebrate Kenya’s rich and vibrant cultural diversity in bid to promote cohesion in the country.

SELF-REGULATION

The training project brings together top media players and regulators from Kenya, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia.

It aims to promote responsible and accountable media through self-regulation.

“The media should give hope and confidence to businesses and ordinary citizens working hard to make a difference in our societies. This is not to say that the media should turn a blind eye on bad governance,” she said.

Opinion polls conducted by various firms have always ranked the media top among institutions most trusted by Kenyans.

A survey conducted by Infotrak recently showed that majority of Kenyans had confidence in the media and were content with the informative, educative and watchdog role of journalists.

Another study commissioned by Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission in 2017 revealed that about 77 percent of respondents said the media was doing enough in the fight against corruption and unethical conduct in the country.





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