MEDIA AND THE SOCIETY

By Michael Munene

(…that the media in Kenya is in the forefront in ensuring that the country is free from injustices…)

Which roles do media play in society? What are contribution of media our Kenyan society? Why would one study media studies? Why would one dedicate his/her life into journalism? These are some questions that one  sometimes need to critically think of whether you are taking a media course or you got that aspiration of doing media, if you are not a media student being a writer in our esteemed university student publications or a reporter in one of them.

The Media in Kenya has been in the forefront in exposing quite a lot of issues ranging from corruption to assassinations that have taken the country by storm. We got such     investigative pieces like Jicho Pevu hosted by Mohammed Ali and John Allan Namu that is aired in KTN , NTV investigative piece respectively, plus other online investigative edition ran is by mpasho.co.ke just to mention a few. Certain issues that have come into the limelight of late include the Nairobi aviation college certificates saga courtesy of NTV investigative piece, the assassination of George Saitoti, exposure of the drug lords present in Kenya, the expose’ of the drug lords who run the country’s drug cartels, the feature on Lamu killings courtesy of Mohammed Ali and his colleague John Allan Namu just to mention a few.

Since time immemorial the media has been playing an enormous role as a watchdog to the society hence its quite unruly to discredit the fact that the media in Kenya is in the forefront in ensuring that the country is free from injustices and that no Kenyan is above the law when it comes to ensuring that the rule of law takes its course.

The media is called upon to exercise objectivity and responsibility for its action since certain actions might compromise the country’s security framework, this bent in observation of media ethics and certain particular media laws that guard against defamation. Hence we as media students we should be vicious and aggressive in learning studying media and be flexible to accommodate upcoming changes in media practice.

There are plenty of criticisms that media receives due to its operations, some few years ago it had received blames for fueling ethnic clashes that rocked the country after the controversial 2007general elections.

Hence whatever has happened earlier shouldn’t really define the media as being the contribution to the lot in society but rather as a tool that shapes the society for good through exposing and disbanding social evils that are quite prevalent in society. Hence media practitioners should always strive towards making sure that they do not put media in the false light to the society that we live in, but rather as a tool that leads the society towards development and achievement of unity and peace

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