The Media council says that since January this year, they have documented 45 cases of media freedom violations reported.
In a statement on Thursday, MCK Chief Executive and secretary David Omwoyo said the cases are always on the rise during the electioneering and political campaigns.
“We particularly take note of the latest verbal attack against Citizen TV by Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi through a social media post, that was meant to intimidate the editorial discretion of the station,” Omwoyo said.
On Thursday the 17th of May, the Kapseret MP accused the broadcaster of being biased in covering the two rival political coalitions. He added that Citizen TV was giving the rival coalitions more airtime in its bulletins and publications than it has in his.
Omwoyo said that Sudi’s statement comes after similar threats by South Mugirango MP Silvanus Osoro who castigated the media outlet for alleged biased reporting.
Omwoyo expressed the council’s displeasure on the negative profiling and threats by some politicians.
“We advise politicians and the public that journalists are guided by a professional code of conduct, with sufficient mechanisms for self-regulation, both as an industry or at a personal level,” he said.
The council further warned politicians against using remarks that are perceived as inflammatory and negatively profiling individual journalists and media stations.
“The media council of Kenya is concerned about the increasing incidences of profiling of and threats to individual journalists and media outlets by politicians,” Omwoyo said.
Such threats are likely to incite the public and political supporters against the media and may thus expose journalists and media practitioners to violations of their rights as they go about their rightful duties.
“Attack against and intimidation of the media contravenes Article 34 and 35 of the constitution on the freedom of the media and access to information.”
Further, the Council has encouraged Kenyans and particularly politicians who feel aggrieved by the conduct of the media to seek redress through the media complaints commission, which is established under the Media Council Act, 213 to address media-related disputes.