WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY

Media an ally of good governance, its freedom is key

Media has influenced politics despite working in hostile and fragile contexts

In Summary

• Media must retain authenticity in the wake of increased fake news outlets. 

• Press has done well in highlighting increased corruption cases. 

Illustration of media
BLOWS FROM PUBLIC: Illustration of media
Image: FILE

As we join the global community in celebrating World Press Freedom Day today, we must recognise the strides made in freedom of the Kenyan press.

It would be prudent to state that the media has been a critical ally in enhancing good governance and sustainable peace in Africa.

For students of history, anything on the press that was perceived as anti-government was clobbered and its operation halted.

These past echoes show us the path on which the media has travelled, often faced with enormous interference whether from politicians or cartels inside it.

The media worked in hostile and fragile contexts, which were highly intimidating. The 2019 World Press Index paints a gloomy picture.

The report described the climate and context in which the journalists work as problematic, difficult and very serious.

Against this backdrop, the media has turned out as influencer of politics and governance. With a progressive constitution, the Kenyan media continues further the aspirations of Kenyans in creating opportunities for engagement and active dialogue.

n an age where an increase in fake news has filled our rooms,  the media must retain its authenticity and objectivity. While exposing the rot in society, it must do so with strict adherence to professionalism.

While these developments are often underutilised by the growing population, it’s paramount to note the critical role of media in governance and political process of the nation.

The increased usage of social media has revolutionised and increased efficiency in information sharing. Unlike in the past where the populace relied solely on print media, the growth in social media is likely to replace the traditional method of communication.

Governance and political analyst