The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) has asked Journalists to be more sensitive in their approach to reporting news on death and sexual assault.
MCK’s Chief Executive Officer David Omwoyo said the treatment of such factors was now a matter of great public concern.
“The Council’s attention has been drawn to media items and reports on broadcast and print that violate the Code of ethics for the practice of journalism in Kenya as provided for in the Second Schedule of the Media Council Act, 2013,” Omwoyo said
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MCK is urging all journalists to observe accuracy, fairness, and privacy. According to Omwoyo, intruding into the grief and shock of family members amounts to misconduct.
“Recent news items and articles have exposed victims of sexual violence, and bereaved members of the public to unwarranted psychological and emotional anguish.” The MCK Chief Executive Officer remarked.
“Tragedy and suffering may be part of the news and therefore, persons subject to the Act must exercise sympathy, discretion, and sensitivity when publishing content on victims of sexual violence and the bereaved.” He added.
MCK sent out a statement to Newsrooms Monday morning, saying the council would not hesitate to sanction any journalist or media house that breached the code. Omwoyo warned of dire consequences for anyone who failed to conform to the rules and regulations provided.
“The Council cautions journalists, media practitioners and media enterprises against the breach of the Code of Conduct for the Practice of Journalism and warns that action will be taken against those who contravene the law.” Omwoyo charged.
MCK acknowledged that deaths were a matter of public record but should be approached with caution when reporting.