The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) has issued a rebuke to the media regarding their coverage of the death of a Catholic priest in Murang’a.
In a statement released on Tuesday, David Omwoyo, the CEO of MCK, expressed his dissatisfaction with the sensationalized and lacking empathy portrayal of the priest’s death.
“We have observed with deep concern the manner in which the media covered the circumstances surrounding the passing of Father Joseph Kariuki,” he remarked.
“Upon analyzing the coverage through the lenses of empathy, respect for grief and shock, as well as the ‘Do no harm’ principle, the Council found that a significant portion of the mainstream and social media coverage was unprofessional, excessively intrusive, and lacked basic decency as outlined in the Code of Conduct for the Practice of Journalism in Kenya.”
Omwoyo further criticized the insensitivity and unnecessary use of sensational and derogatory language employed by the media, asserting that it violated the dignity of the individuals involved and encroached upon their privacy.
“Upon reviewing the media’s coverage, we observed inconsistencies in the reporting of facts, sensationalized headlines, and violations of the code of conduct in terms of accuracy, fairness, integrity, accountability, obscenity, taste, and tone,” added the CEO.
Omwoyo emphasized that the Code of Conduct for the Practice of Journalism mandates sensitivity and discretion when covering matters involving personal grief and shock.
He urged journalists to present news stories with integrity, decency, and respect for the dignity of both the audience and the subjects of the news.
As the media continues to report on this story, Omwoyo advised caution and stressed the need to protect the dignity of the individuals involved while adhering to expected professional practices at all times.