The Media Owners Association KEG And MCK has launched a joint venture with the Kenya Editors Guild and Media Council of Kenya to organize the 2022 Presidential Debate slotted for July. A joint production with membership drawn leading media houses will also conduct a Deputy Presidential Debate at a venue to be announced in future according to a statement issued on Wednesday.
Media Owners Association Chairman Stephen Gitagama announced that team led by Clifford Machoka (Nation Media Group), Leo Mutisya (Media Council of Kenya) and Rosalia Omungo (Kenya Editors Guild) will form Presidential Debates Secretariat which will engage political parties and other stakeholders.
They will be joined by a team of senior editors from across media houses that have been established to provide stewardship of the content aspects given how critical the debates are to ensure the public interest obligations are served.
“It is suicidal for any Presidential candidates or any deputy Presidential candidates not to attend this, we expect we will work with the various political stakeholders and various presidential candidates once they are announced, we are positive and confident that because they want the best for this country and because they want to communicate with the voters they will attend,”
Kenya Editors Guild President Churchill Otieno gave the assurance amid concerns that some media owners had already indicated their preferred candidates.
“As media entities and as newsrooms in our country, as we go about covering the elections we have no candidates… We cannot begrudge those who chose to take political positions, but then as they disclose them, the professionals who must deal with the news every single day must be given the chance to do what they must do in terms of managing the news process away from contamination.”
Media Council of Kenya CEO David Omwoyo further stated that they intend to host at least two presidential debates and one deputy president debate to allow Kenyans to gauge the priorities of their candidates.
News media editors in the country have in the meantime, come out to emphatically assure Kenyans of objective coverage as the political campaigns ahead of the August 9 general elections hots up.
Edited By: Chepkosgei Jedidah