By Cynthia  Manzi

The Kenyan constitution allows for freedom of expression which does not extend in cases of incitement of violence, the propaganda of war and spread of hate speech.

It may appear in a paper that as a country we have the freedom of expressing ourselves. Thanks to corruption there has been a rise in censorship and oppression of journalists across the country. 

The dependence of the government to purchase advertising spots in the media houses has made it a soft target of oppression when certain news pieces are aired. 

It is very clear that impunity towards media freedom will be here to stay for a while. What are some of the steps we can take as news conveyers to overcome this oppression?

  • Run a people sponsored media channel

It is public knowledge that media houses heavily depend on advertising revenue to sustain their day to day activities. 

How about we move away from this kind of thinking and run our journalism activities by being responsible to the citizens. This will help curb the instances where political influence run the news. 

This can be easily carried out by fundraising from the public. Also, running subscription-based news outlets. Make it worthwhile for people to consume your content. 

  • Training on ethical reporting

It is said that negative news sells. This makes everyone scramble for the negative news pie at the expense of the wellbeing of the general public. This has conditioned us to expect nothing of value from the news outlets.

As news outlets, it is our responsibility to change the narrative and stop being prophets of doom. This can only happen if we take it upon ourselves to educate ourselves on better communication practices.

Take classes on ethical reporting which will impart knowledge on you on how best to put across information with the end consumer in mind and not high revenue.

  • Collective responsibility

As individuals, we have to take it upon ourselves that we are the owners of our journey and it is up to us to know what we consume. 

So, before sharing any piece of information take a minute or two to verify whether it is the truth to avoid fear-mongering. It takes only one click of the button and we are in panic mode. 

Call out any news outlets that are being used for political mileage by oppressors. This will make us all aware of which outlets to avoid for our mental wellbeing.

Let us all take it upon ourselves to be mindful of the content we churn out and remember it is our responsibility to feed our followers with authentic news. 

Do take a minute to check out @Cindishel