Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Government warns ``Quack`` Journalists in Kenya as two Publications are suspended in Congo Brazzavile

By Jerry Otieno and Xinhua
Police Spokesman Mr.Eric Kiraithe address Journalists at Anti-Terrorism Police Unit in Nairobi
Media council of Kenya on Tuesday,September 11 sent a strong warning to those imposing as journalists in various functions that the law would soon catch up with them.
This comes barely a day after your favourite Daily News Kenya exclusively highlighted the operations of quack Journalists in Kenya mainly in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu Cities. They also operate in other major towns where they terrorize newsmakers, Clergymen and head of schools with impunity.
We are infact compiling a list of their names and their photographs and soon will be publishing them here.
 The council`s warning was made to those who impose as journalist without proper accreditation from the council, that once they are caught they risk prosecution.
 Media Council Executive Director Dr Harun Mwangi said that personification was a criminal offence and challenged all event organizers to demand that journalist produce an accredited badge by the council. 
“We know that there are those people out there imposing as journalist. Impersonation is a criminal offence and we must deal with the issue,” said Mwangi.
 Speaking during a media breakfast meeting in honour of African Union Commission Deputy Chairperson Dr Erastus Mwencha, the Media Council Boss reiterated their commitment to get rid of the quacks in the industry and professionalize the trade.
 Mwangi appealed to all the media houses to supply the council with the names and letters of the journalists in the fields or those contracted to engage in journalism.
 He also advised constitutional offices like the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC), Independent electoral and Boundaries Commission IEBC and the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) to only admit those journalists accredited with the council.
 The council also wants the politicians, public relations firms and other government and Non-governmental organizations to strictly admit journalists with the accreditation from the council into their events. 
“We appeal to all those convening events for public consumption to admit only those who posses badges accredited by the Media council,” said Mwangi.
 Already the Media council has developed a curriculum for training of the journalist in all Media colleges in Kenya that will be used at the Certificate and Diploma level.
 The curriculum is still waiting approval by the Commission of Higher Education before the colleges pick it up.
 “We have developed a strong curriculum for the training of the journalist that will ensure that we professionalize the trade,” added Mwangi.
 Once the curriculum has been adopted, Mwangi says, that the media houses will employ no person if they don’t posses the certification of the new curriculum.
 He said that they have been facing myriad of challenges even with the current journalists in which some were employed without relevant qualification.
 If the threat made by the council is realized, then there will be a major crack down on hundreds of quack journalist who have been masquerading in big political functions and other events across the country.
 The council is also tightening the noose on media houses flouting the code of ethics as the country approaches electioneering period.
 Media was heavily blamed for fuelling the post election violence of 2007-2008 for abating unethical and biased standards in their coverage.
 Speaking at the same function AU Deputy Chair Erastus Mwencha called on the politicians to actively participate in the regional integration.
 Mwencha who was recently re-elected to his position challenged the media to uphold professionalism and report on diplomatic relations affecting the country boldly without fear or favour.
 While hailing the vibrancy of the Kenyan media, the AU official noted that the press must hold the government accountable to the rule of law, strong leadership and governance.

 Meanwhile two weekly publications in the Republic of Congo, "La Voix du Peuple," and "Le Glaive" have been respectively suspended from publishing their editions for nine months and six months.
The suspension of the two publications was announced on Monday in Brazzaville by the Supreme Council of the Freedom of Communication in Congo (CSLC).
"La Voix du Peuple," was suspended by CSLC for illegally continuing to publish its weekly editions despite the existence of a court ruling which suspended it from publishing for six months as from May 10, 2012.
Members of the CSLC who were meeting for their extraordinary meeting on Saturday, decided to suspend the publication for a further nine months, for disobeying a court order.
CSLC also examined the "seditious articles" that appeared in "Le Glaive" newspaper for the Aug. 13, 2012; Aug. 27 and Sept. 3, 2012 editions and ruled that "the newspaper had published false information, had interfered with the private lives of citizens, had accused innocent people without giving any evidence, had tried to manipulate the public opinion and had considerably defamed certain members of the public."
Given the violation of the journalism code of conduct, CSLC decided to suspend "Le Glaive" newspaper from publishing for a period of six months.
CSLC is a media regulatory organ that promotes freedom of information and communication in the Republic of Congo. Its missions include guaranteeing citizens access to a free media, monitoring media and protecting them as they carry out their duties and ensuring the respect for professionalism and journalism code of conduct.

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