Over 30 senior media managers and editors are meeting with IEBC in Mombasa to discuss the roadmap to the next General Elections. The two day retreat is an opportunity for IEBC to update the media on strategies on voter education, voter registrations, use of technology and engagement with political parties, among other issues. The Commission will also be receiving concerns of the media on election coverage.
In his opening remarks, IEBC Chairman reminded the delegates that both the electoral management body and the media were blamed for the flawed 2007 polls and called on the two parties to work together to ensure that the elections are free and peaceful. Mr. Hassan said that the media is the Commission’s first port of call in the journey of voter education. He challenged the media to provide a neutral platform for presidential candidates to discuss their visions instead of too much coverage on political rallies. He promised that IEBC will give the media access to the results as soon as they are announced and urged them not to be selective in relaying the same to the public.
The Commission’s Vice Chairperson Ms Lilian Mahiri-Zaja said IEBC in conjunction with other stakeholders has developed a Code of Conduct for journalists covering elections and related issues. She said IEBC can only expand the democratic space in Kenya if the media supported its campaigns to educate the people.
The IEBC chair thanked the senior managers for taking time to come and interact with IEBC. He wished the media personnel, Mr Linus Kaikai (Nation Media) and Emmanuel Tallam (China TV), for quick recovery following a road accident.