CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

COVID-19: State urged to list media as an essential service

The media is going through a difficult period of uncertainty

In Summary

• Call for a representative from MOA to be included as a member of the National Emergency Response Committee and the Business Emergency Response Center.

Media Owners Association chairman Wachira Waruru
Media Owners Association chairman Wachira Waruru
Image: FILE

The Media Owners Association of Kenya has urged Health CS Mutahi Kagwe to categorise media services as essential in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a letter dated March 23, the association said the media is going through a difficult period of uncertainty and that as a lockdown looms, the government needs to categorise media outlets as essential service providers.

“This will enable the media to continue with the critical public mandate of providing information and education to the public,” MOA chairman Wachira Waruru said.

He added that a representative from the association should be included as a member of the National Emergency Response Committee and the Business Emergency Response Center.

The letter to CS Kagwe was endorsed by 16 media outlets, including Radio Africa Group, Royal Media Services, Standard Group PLC, Switch TV and Nation Media Group.

The other outlets are MediaMax Network Limited,  Radio 44, Three Stones Media Limited, Multichoice Kenya, KBC, Media 7 Group, Kass Media Group, Family Media, Ebru TV, Capital Group Ltd and Cape Media Limited.

Waruru said the media fraternity will continue being at the forefront in providing coverage of the pandemic as well as driving awareness campaigns across all print, broadcasting and digital platforms.

“We take this opportunity to assure you and the government of our continued support and partnerships towards efforts to curb spread of the virus and affirm our public interest mission to provide relevant and timely information and education to the public on the current pandemic,” Waruru said.

He added that the association has taken precautionary measures in accordance with the guidelines issued by the government.

Waruru has further said that the association has instituted measures to secure the safety of the media team working from the offices and in the field by equipping them with protective equipment.