Ethical Journalism for Promotion of National Values and Good Governance
10:03:2021: The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), in collaboration with the Media Council of Kenya (MCK), has concluded a three-day training session on national values, governance, ethics and anti-corruption policy for journalists in Machakos.
Speaking during the official opening, MCK Chief Executive Officer David Omwoyo urged journalists to commit to truth and fact in reporting and not to glorify corruption. People with unexplained wealth, he said, easily find favour with media and rise to high ranks in the society as politicians and celebrities without questions being asked about the source of their wealth. He advised the journalists to play their watchdog role by engaging in objective reporting and unearthing public interest issues that expose the rot in society, holding people to account as the country clamours for good governance.
EACC’s Commissioner Rose Mghoi called upon the fourth estate to support the war on graft, urging journalists to mobilize the public by covering issues affecting society to help stamp out corrupt practices.
“A strong media sector significantly contributes to an accountable society,” she said, and challenged journalists to drive change as the country gears up for the 2022 General Election. “What kind of leadership would you want to help us drive change in this country? she asked.
EACC, she said, was prioritizing high impact cases, arrests and corruption disruptions to deter the public from engaging in corruption. To date, it has recovered assets of more than Sh26.65 billion and averted possible losses of Sh135.5 billion, among other achievements.
Commissioner Mghoi lauded the media sector as one among 25 others working with the EACC under the auspices of the Kenya Leadership Integrity Forum (KLIF), a multi-sector forum providing a unified and integrated fight against corruption.
The training covered the following areas:
- Salient provisions of the National Ethics and Anti-corruption Policy.
- Foundation understanding of corruption, unethical conduct and the mandate of EACC.
- Codes of ethics for journalists.
- National values and principles of governance in the context of the role of journalists.
- Understanding the justice process.
- Reporting corruption.
- The anti-corruption legal framework.
- Media roles and functions in the anti-corruption agenda, and
- Media gate keeping functions.
In his closing remarks, EACC’s commissioner Dr. Dabar Maalim acknowledged the media’s vital role in the fight against corruption. “We cannot fight corruption without the fourth estate; you are the drivers of the fight,” he told the participants, adding that the commission continues to enlist the media’s support and creating strategic partnerships with other stakeholders to drive change for a transparent and accountable people.
Dr. Dabar challenged the journalists to make use of their new knowledge to promote integrity and good governance. “Our desire is that you apply the same to promote ethics, integrity and good governance in the course of your duties and at a personal level; and most important, effectively make credible reports to our consumers.”
On the same note, the media council’s programmes and training director, Mr. Victor Bwire, advised against sensational reporting, urging journalists to uphold the code of ethics that guides the practice of journalism in the country.
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