Chief Justice Martha Koome during the swearing-in ceremony of Court of Appeal president Daniel Musinga at the Supreme Court on June 11.
This has at times made the media a flawed agent of accountable governance," Koome said.
• Koome noted that the Judiciary and the media were blamed for contributing to the 2007/2008 post-election violence.
• The CJ noted that the media plays a critical in the democratic lifeblood of a country, but it has in some instances become a weakness because of the interests of media owners.
Chief Justice Martha Koome has said that the media should adopt a more activist role when reporting the news.
Speaking on Friday, at the Editors Guild Convention, the Chief Justice said that media should embrace its accountability role as an independent institution in the political system and promote a healthy, accountable democratic discourse.
Koome stated that this role will mean that the media will speak with its own voice and not merely echo the voice of the political actors.
"This will necessitate embracing a “more activist role” that involves asserting the media’s own voice in commentary and analysis, scrutinizing the consequences of the utterances and policy proposals by political actors, and promoting the idea of peaceful national co-existence and resolution of any electoral disputes," she said.
"It is when you adopt the activist role that I have talked about that the Kenyan media will fulfil the media’s historic role as the fourth estate which is to be a force for the promotion of democratic governance."
The CJ noted that the media plays a critical in the democratic lifeblood of a country, but it has in some instances become a weakness because of the interests of media owners.
"This has at times made the media a flawed agent of accountable governance," Koome said.
She said the growth of our young democracy demands public and private media houses to assert editorial independence.
Koome promised the support of the Judiciary as the media embraces this for good of the country, as we approach the electioneering period.
"I, therefore, urge the Editors Guild to be at the forefront in steering the vocation of journalism and the media industry towards the pursuit of editorial independence and political neutrality in its reporting, analysis, and commentary."
The Chief Justice said that the judiciary has constituted a Judiciary Committee on Elections and developed a comprehensive work plan to train judges, judicial officers and staff on efficient mechanisms to handle election disputes.
Koome noted that the Judiciary and the media were blamed for contributing to the 2007/2008 post-election violence. Edited by D Tarus, The Star