A continental media organisation wants the Kenyan Government to withdraw from Parliament the Bill to regulate journalists, writes Owino Opondo in The Nation.
The widening democratic space in the country resulted in increased public demands for information and it was wrong to curtail that progress, said the Media Focus on Africa Foundation (MFAF).
And for the media to perform to the optimum, freedom of information from any form of interference must be a guaranteed basic right, according to MFAF executive director Frank Klein.
Erase all freedoms
He feared that the tabling of the Media Bill in Parliament last week by Information and Communications minister Mutahi Kagwe could erase all freedoms journalists had achieved so far.
And it had the danger of allowing the State to impose unpopular policies on the people without being checked.
"The Government must not impose its code on the media; for that could be abused by politicians," he told a national workshop on media and Parliament at Holiday Inn, Nairobi.
But journalists were asked to respect the existing code of conduct, report fairly and accurately, and uphold high standards of professional ethics.
Said Mr Klein: "The media should not abuse the rights, but must stick to laid down rules of practice."
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