Vibrant media important for democracy, says Maraga

Bernard Gitau @benagitau

Chief Justice David Maraga has underpinned the need for a vibrant media as it underlines the true meaning of democracy.

Speaking during the inauguration of editors Press Club,  Maraga said the media should reflect the will of the people. “Media should report on the incongruence between the will of the people and the actions of those in power,” he said.

He noted the Fourth Estate has a responsibility to put in check those in power for how they use it. “On corruption, the media has a role to inform society what is going on in all State institutions without favour including the Judiciary,” he added.

On media freedom, Maraga said the Judiciary has played its role in protecting it as enshrined in the Constitution. “The judiciary has previously struck out the media laws amendments aimed at muzzling press freedom,” he said.

Maraga said social media has heightened the challenges of responsible journalism. “Kenyan media must rise above fake news, you will be held accountable by Kenyans,” he said.

“The judiciary will play its role but we require media support,” said Maraga.

Editors’ Guild chairman Churchill Otieno said the launch of the Press Club creates a platform for national reflection on the freedom and responsibility of the media.

He said  the current media landscape has been heavily influenced by digital disruption and fake news. “This requires editors’ renewed commitment to accuracy and verification,” he said.

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