The media council of Kenya (MCK) has come out to defend Citizen TV against ferocious attacks from allies of Deputy President William Ruto. In a statement that was released on Monday 7th September 2021, MCK plainly stated that the attack aimed at the Royal Media Services Television was an affront to journalism at large.
The letter was addressed to Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa who is one of the close associates of DP Ruto for posting on his social media accounts to call for sabotage of Citizen TV. Barasa also termed the media house as “Githeri Media” and “gutter press” and this MCK stated that, ” Whereas the politician has the right to disagree with the editorial policies of the media house, it is unacceptable to incite the public against any media house.”
MCK further stated that calling the public to boycott the media house is going against the Constitution of Kenya. “While the Council recognizes the right of any individual to demand to uphold of ethical standards in journalism, it expects that the same shall be demanded of the politicians and leaders for violating freedom of expression, press freedom and access information as provided for in the Constitution in articles 33, 34, 35 and the Media Council Act, 2013,” The media regulator stated.
The ruto allies have been advised to file their complaints with the Media Complaints Commission if they have any issue with the media house instead of calling their supporters to sabotage the media house. The MCK stated that “Accordingly, politicians cannot on their own accord, term the media as unprofessional. Such action amounts to taking the law into their own hands and proceeding to pronounce judgment on an issue they are not made to prosecute.”
The media regulator demanded the legislator to delete all the statements made calling Citizen TV “githeri media” or “gutter press” and demanded an apology. Some of the allies of Ruto have reacted to the issue. Below are some of the comments.
ManCan Revolutionist: So MCK Supports githeri media, AWUORO. I have read and there is a portion that says if you oppose the media you won’t participate in the next General election, sijai jua IEBC and MCK are wedded. Sadly news and headless information are much accessed by people in the blogs and not mainstream media, social media bloggers themselves lead on that, or does MCK oversee media houses alone not sources of information?
Carmelo: Macharia saw a chance to counter the attacks cannoned to him…And here it is, the counter. It almost worked; Maybe he isn’t stupid after all.
Jim Semiyoi: Personally citizen tv is acting unprofessionally,i have been a great fan of Citizen TV Kenya but recently you showed biases in reporting. What do you think about the issue? Kindly leave a comment on the same.