MCK calls for truce between media houses and research firm

Kinyuru Munuhe @kinyurumunuhe

The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) has called for transparent engagement between five media houses and a data research firm, Kenya Audience Research Foundation (Karf), after they accused the latter of using bogus advertising research data.

MCK chief executive David Omwoyo said continued contentious disagreement portends serious ramifications to the media industry.

Omwoyo said advertising revenue will dwindle and subsequently, sustainability of the media enterprises would be shaky.

“This is a critical matter that has been simmering for more than three years. We call those involved to engage in a transparent and open manner since their decisions have critical impact on press freedom and access to information and sustenance of media houses and journalism profession,” he said.

Omwoyo spoke Friday at the council head office. He was accompanied by senior council official Dinah Ondari, among others.

Radio Africa Group, Nation Media Group, Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, Capital Group Limited and Standard Media Group gave Karf seven days to withdraw and cease further publication of media data posted last year.

In its research, Karf said majority of Kenyans preferred traditional media as their first source of information. However, the media houses expressed displeasure over what they termed as continued release of “patently unreliable and falsified media data”.

According to the study, the average number of Kenyans who consume media daily is 16 million; 94 per cent of whom consume TV, radio and print while only 33 per cent consume new media but not exclusively.

It indicated that 64.8 per cent of Kenyans value radio, 30.6 per cent (TV) and 1.6 per cent (newspapers). Only 1.9 per cent seek information online, 0.8 per cent on social media while the rest read magazines.

“In view of the failure by Karf to address these long-running concerns and the failure to put out credible research data we have lost faith in Karf data. We further request that Karf, as currently constituted, be immediately disbanded and an all-inclusive process of establishing a more reliable and accurate research process and function be commenced immediately,” a statement by the five media firms read in part.

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