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Professionalism. Esther Kamweru ED, MCK 7 MAY 2009. Requires. Adhere to the agreed code of practice Basic tenets - Accuracy and fairness - Opportunity to reply - Not paying for news and articles. Challenges.

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Esther Kamweru


7 MAY 2009


  • Adhere to the agreed code of practice

  • Basic tenets

    - Accuracy and fairness

    - Opportunity to reply

    - Not paying for news and articles


  • There are a number of finer points of journalistic procedure that foster disagreements in principle and variation in practice among journalists especially in the mainstream media.

1 accuracy
1. Accuracy

  • Most of the cases that come to the council are about this… Inaccuracy.

  • Accuracy is important as a core value and to maintain credibility.

  • However, audiences are turning towards media outlets that are reporting new information first… radio, mobile phones, television


  • Different organizations may balance speed and accuracy in different ways.

  • Break news on mobile phones, radio and television.

  • Print longer, more detailed, less speculative, and more thoroughly verified pieces the following day.

  • In the first instance, viewers may switch channels at a moment's notice; the fierce competition to get out first reduces the time to verify information.

  • This is the challenge.

2 taste decency and tone
2. Taste, decency and tone

  • Yet another common complaint especially from radio audiences.

  • Complaint that the subjects of conversation of radio talk shows are adult.

  • That some radio talk shows give psychological advise when they are not qualified to do so.

2 taste decency and tone1
2. Taste, decency and tone

  • Complaints also against

    - Some music shows

    - Some soap operas


  • Give audiences what they want

  • It is pretensions to complain about sex talk on radio.

  • That the shows are entertainment and audiences are discerning enough to know this.

  • That they educate

Suggested remedy
Suggested remedy

  • Watershed hour where adult material is transmitted at certain times only.

  • Train the talk show hosts involves

  • Legislation ( No 1 above) .

Lack of professionalism
Lack of professionalism

  • Election coverage. Claims

    - that all media were biased ( Stories used, adjectives used, pictures, where stories were placed, generally how certain politicians/parties were portrayed) etc)

    - that media fuelled ethnic animosities ( comments from listeners, use of proverbs, guests invited to shows, how much time given.)

    - Use of gory pictures/ (Other side)- portrayed the reality on the ground, helped to identify areas that needed emergency help


  • United media and its message of peace.

  • Choice of songs and other messages.

  • Withdrawal of political ads.

  • Was the only way for people to know what was happening.

Food for thought
Food for thought

  • Debate on the KCA 2009

    - One side of the debate given total blackout deliberately.

    - Minister, PS and all who supported the Bill, now Act, given blackout

    - Guests invited to discuss the issue

    - Did the end justify the means?

Emerging challenges
Emerging Challenges

  • Internet research

  • Instantaneous/live coverage

  • Citizen journalism