Kenyans have asked the media to prioritize human interest stories over politics.
At a meeting hosted by the Kenya Editors Guild (KEG) at the Diani Reef Hotel on Saturday, Kwale residents said many media platforms prioritized politics over issues affecting local communities .
The event saw KEG members interact with news sources, advertisers, county and national government leaders.
“Why should a child-soiling incident be ignored just because a politician is holding a meeting in the same county?” asked Mr Mackenzie Mohammed, a Kwale-based human rights activist.
Residents said the media gave more airtime and space to political stories, even though publishers said political debates appealed to more audiences.
Kwale County Youth and Sports Chief Executive Ramadhan Bungale said the media should give importance to more positive stories.
“Is there nothing positive in society to report? There’s a lot of negativity in the media,” he said.
Nation Media Coast regional editor Allan Olingo said the media does not just cover politicians but general news.
“We don’t just cover politicians, we make sure to cover all the stories. Today I will be covering a politician but tomorrow you will find me reporting on the overgrown sugar cane in Ramisi. We always try to be as diverse as possible,” he said. noted.
He added: “The news is what is happening around you, we don’t just focus on the negative stories. There are more positive stories that we have done in Kwale County.”
Kenya Editors Guild deputy chairperson Zubeida Koome said citizens did not have to pay to be interviewed or to have their stories aired or published.
“One of the roles of the media is to inform and no one has to pay to have their story aired. Don’t pay for any story unless it’s an advertisement,” she said. declared.
Editors have urged Kenyans to deal with journalists accredited by the Media Council of Kenya.
Mr. Wanyama Chebusiri, who moderated the public meeting, urged residents to work closely with journalists.
The people of Kwale were also guided through the information gathering process and technical details related to information processing. Ms. Koome encouraged the people of Kwale to practice citizen journalism to ensure issues that matter to them are highlighted.
Commenting on some stories failing to publish, KEG board member Linda Bach said editors prioritize breaking news and stories that have a huge impact on society.
Other issues that emerged were the inability of media houses to follow up on certain stories.
Sam Ikwaye, director of the Kenya Hoteliers and Caterers Association, praised the media for bringing more tourist stories from the coast to light. He called for more partnerships between the media and private actors.