23 May 2014

Kenya: Hate Speech, Social Media and FM Stations On the Spot.

Photo: Capital FM
Political activist Moses Kuria facing probe over hate speech.

press release

Nairobi — The National steering committee on Media Monitoring has raised concern, over the hate speech appearing on the social media and local FM radio stations. Speaking at a press briefing, National steering committee on Media Monitoring chair Ms Mary Ombara noted with great concern the vicious verbal and written attacks on prominent political personalities instigated by local media online and bloggers, which have turned to be ugly and derogatory thus threatening to divide the country along ethnic lines. Leading media personalities and political analysts with large online following are taking advantage of the current lack of regulations for online space to perpetuate their ethno- political differences to the rest of the world. There was audio evidence regarding the perpetuation of hate speech which was played to the members present during the press briefing, which was later given to the journalists.

The committee also noted the violation of the basic provisions in the Code of Conduct and Ethics of Journalism by Media as recently seen during the coverage of Terrorism at the Gikomba Market attack. The committee observed that the media ignored privacy and depicted raw, indecent and horrifying pictures terming it complete disrespect for the protection of scenes of crime.

The committee urged the Government to hasten the determination of litigation on the key Media Bills created to help regulate the internet

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