By Patrick Chiriba
The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) and the Council of Governors (CoG) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will see the media collaborating with county governments in disseminating information from the counties.
The two institutions promised to assist and support the media in promoting professional coverage of devolved units.
Speaking during the MoU signing on Monday, MCK CEO David Omwoyo and CoG ICT Chair Wesley Korir highlighted the crucial role played by the media in promoting devolution.
“The MoU signed today will promote knowledge management and information sharing from and within the devolved units. It will also address capacity gaps and enhance access to information to enable the media to report accurately,” said Mr. Omwoyo.
According to MCK, the MoU seeks to improve relations between county governments and journalists, build collaborative county communications and media employees’ capacity, and develop training curricula on devolution for the media from practical model perspectives in the county governments.
Mr. Omwoyo spoke about the crucial role the media plays in devolved governance by ensuring the public is informed about the actions and decisions of elected officials at the local level.
He added: “The media has progressively become a platform for the citizenry to voice their concerns and opinions on governance issues.”
The CEO asked county governments to give journalists access to information, saying it would eliminate misinformation and avoidable squabbles that have frequently strained relationships between the media and devolved units.
“I urge county governments to uphold the Access to Information law by enabling media to obtain the right information to facilitate informed and accurate coverage of matters of public interest,” he said.
CoG ICT and Knowledge Management Committee Chair and Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Welsey Korir affirmed the county governments’ commitment to creating a favorable working environment for the media.
Mr. Korir stated that counties seek media partnerships to promote counties as hubs for investment and growth.
“We are seeking collaborations with the media to market our counties. We want to showcase counties as centers of investments and development,” said Mr. Korir.
The governor added that counties will operationalise knowledge centers, allowing the media to report accurately.