In Summary

•The debate creates an opportunity for editors to work together to deliver their mandate to Kenyans.

•Omwoyo reminded the media that Kenya’s democracy is entwined with the media’s story.

Media personalities have been challenged to be creative, innovative and tell stories that are compelling to enable Kenyans to make the right choices during the campaigns and elections period.

Kenya Editors Guild (KEG) president Churchill Otieno pointed this out during the launch of the Kenya Presidential Debate on Wednesday.  

The event was hosted by the Media Owners Association, Media Council of Kenya and Kenya Editors Guild. 

“Sustainability is the reality in every single media house. We may not be as many as we were last time. Therein lies the chance to tell the compelling story to enable Kenyans to make the right choices,” Otieno said.

He added that the debate creates an opportunity for editors to work together to deliver their mandate to Kenyans in a better way owing to the experience from the last debates.

Media Council of Kenya CEO David Omwoyo said the media has a critical role in ensuring a credible, free, fair and transparent election.

He encouraged all media stakeholders to take their role as the public’s watchdog seriously.

He insisted that the role of the media in leading the way for Kenyans to evaluate the Presidential and Deputy Presidential candidates is most vital in this period, more than ever.

“Free speech and free media have emerged as the epitome of our democracy. Indeed, we have experienced the progressive growth of our democracy and vibrant media over the years,” he said.

Further, Otieno said that the media practitioners should be mindful of their duty to facilitate these conversations. 

“This is the reason why from 2013, media has collectively moved to entrench the culture of Presidential Debates as one of the cornerstone pillars of our democracy and electoral process for the benefit of Kenyan people,” he said.

The institutions jointly said that specific dates, venue and logistics for the presidential debates will be announced at a later date. By Sharon Mwende, The Star