In efforts to assess the emerging issues in the media industry and display solidarity, AMWIK joined other media sector stakeholders including media owners, associations, editors, commercial managers and content producers in a roundtable convened by the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) at Chaka Ranch, Kiganjo, Nyeri.
The one-day event provided a platform for open dialogue to discuss pressing issues and foster collaboration with the shared goal of advancing the Kenyan media.
Speaking during the forum, MCK CEO, David Omwoyo pointed out the need for increased collaboration during adversity. “We need to identify areas that we require to relook and develop a working framework to foster press freedom and ensure the independence of the media is not affected.” He said.
The caucus highlighted the challenges faced by the media industry, including increasing attacks on press freedom, declining public trust, widespread disinformation, discord among media players, financial constraints and technological disruptions.
They emphasized the need for proactive measures to address these challenges and safeguard the integrity and relevance of media in the digital age.
Some solutions explored included promoting solidarity and collaboration despite the competitive environments and differences. By fostering unity through the Kenya Media Sector Working Group (KMSWG), the media industry could present a united front against common challenges, enabling it to better serve the public interest.
“We should always remember that our commitment, our loyalty and our fidelity as an entity is with the people of Kenya and not with those in power or authority – so long as Kenyans are happy with our work, we will be proud as we will be carrying out our mandate.” Said Eric Oduor, the Secretary General of the Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ).
Through extensive discussions, they explored potential collaborations to tackle shared issues, such as establishing fact-checking initiatives, developing ethical guidelines for journalism practice and promoting media literacy among the general public. They also highlighted the need to invest in quality journalism, ensuring that reliable information continues to reach the mwananchi.
The meeting concluded with a commitment to convert discussions into tangible action steps. Individual entities were tasked with developing collaborative initiatives, sharing resources and enforcing substantial solutions to the specified challenges.
“We need to strengthen the unity of the media space come together and work to ensure that even in the face of adversity, we all will be speaking on the same front.”- Zubeida Kananu, President, Kenya Editors Guild (KEG)
“There is a need for stronger stakeholder engagements, let us strengthen media voices, institutions, and associations. The Kenyan media is shining light on all the dark places and therefore let us not lose the opportunity to teach people about what we do and how we do it.” Linus Kaikai, Editorial Director, Citizen TV.
“We need to strengthen the unity of the media space come together and work to ensure that even in the face of adversity, we all will be speaking on the same front,”-Agnes Kalekye, Media Owners Association (MOA)
“Media is one of the actors that is going to be affected by the shrinking civic space. As stakeholders, we need to think seriously and mount a campaign to address these threats.” -Oloo Janak, Chairperson, Kenya Correspondents Association (KCA).
“This meeting is a crucial milestone in addressing the challenges faced by the media industry. Fostering unity through the Kenya Media Sector Working Group (KMSWG) will enable a stronger and more resilient media landscape.” Denis Mbau, Impact and Communications lead, AMWIK.
“In efforts to sustain the media sector sphere, it is essential to note that for the media sector to survive, there is a need to develop a technical resource with technical competencies to engage a complicated state. The technical aspect is the nexuses between technology, economics, and laws that are integral in advisory engagements which will aid to combat copyright issues.” Henry Maina, Commissioner, Media Complaints Commission.