He stressed the importance of media independence and urged players to maintain objectivity amidst evolving trends in journalism and technology.
National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula has urged the media in Kenya to establish regulations that ensure the collection and dissemination of accurate news in the face of digital disruptions.
Speaking at the 2023 Annual Convention of the Kenya Editors Guild in Mombasa, Wetangula emphasized the crucial role of media as a catalyst for change and a pillar of any thriving society but warned it will not thrive without thoughtful innovation and professionalism.
Wetangula stressed the importance of media independence and urged players to maintain objectivity amidst evolving trends in journalism and technology.
He acknowledged the risks journalists face when pursuing the truth, particularly when exposing wrongdoing. “The media must always maintain professionalism and uphold ethical standards to prosper,” he urged.
Wetangula also pledged to engage with President William Ruto to seek interventions to support The Standard media group, which is currently facing financial challenges. “It should concern us all, and that’s why we are worried about what is happening at The Standard,” he stated. “I will reach out to the president to find interventions to save The Standard.”
Most media houses in Kenya are grappling with sustainability challenges brought about by digital disruptions, prompting Wetangula to urge the media to explore long-term sustainability models to thrive.
While emphasizing the need to safeguard media freedom, Wetangula committed to playing his role in Parliament and called on other leaders to do the same. “The media should be allowed to operate freely and independently,” he affirmed. However, he challenged the media fraternity to exercise self-regulation and maintain objectivity.
The Kenya Editors Guild President, Zubeidah Kananu, echoed the media industry’s challenges, including economic constraints and the impact of digital technology on revenue streams. She called for a balance between profit motives and public interest and urged the government to support a media landscape that benefits society as a whole.
Kananu emphasized the importance of evaluating existing laws and policies, especially in light of technological advancements and their implications for the media industry. She highlighted the critical issue of media sustainability, with many media houses facing financial difficulties due to reduced advertising revenue, primarily caused by digital disruption and competition from Big Tech companies.