There have been many columns written about the Media Bill 2007 that was presented in Parliament this month and which seeks to instill responsibility among journalists. However it is missing from the ministry site, there are no PDF’s available (so far) and I was only able to get a copy thanks to a networked bloggger.
It was disappointing that so far everyone talks about it, but few (member of the public) have seen it. Even media houses have remained selfish with the document, withholding it and only telling us what’s bad about it. Actually the bill is quite bare, except for providing for the establishment of a media advisory council, media advisory board and a code of conduct for journalists.
- Pros: It creates about 20 new jobs (board seats) on two new bodies (media advisory council and media advisory board)
- Is not as broad as previously envisioned when it appeared that it would cover cross ownership and content issues.
Cons: Much has been written about it - read some (here, here, and here)
The bill is crafted by people who believe that the media are out to get them so it comes out as something that a media-challenged celebrity may have written - guiding the media on what to do and what not to do via a code of conduct. It seems to be directed at the Standard which is believed to have editorial issues dictated by ownership (the bill calls on journalists to refuse to allow the interests of ownership or management to influence news' judgment and content inappropriately) and therefore one ups the Standard by drafting a bill that seeks to forbid intrusions into individuals private life (without the persons consent), alarming headlines (a staple of tabloids to lure buyers), the use of hidden recordings (ala Githongo) and confidential/unnamed sources – with penalties such as deregistration of journalists.
Likely outcome: As bad as the bill is, it may actually pass in parliament because no politician likes the media - they will make a show of opposing the bill, but all will welcome the chance/forum to complain about negative coverage.
from the newspapers over the last week
Commercial and political risks underwriter at Africa trade insurance agency - ATIA. Apply to Recruitment@Africa-ECA.com by 15/6
Marketing manager at nation media group: apply to email@example.com 30/5
National communications secretariat of the republic of Kenya: communication legal expert, accountant, system administrator. Apply to firstname.lastname@example.org 15/6
Pricewaterhousecoopers: public financial management and procurement specialists. Apply to email@example.com by 15/6
Sony (South Nyanza Sugar Company): CEO/ M - details here. Also HR development manager, procurement manager, management accountant, property manager, sales operations manager. Apply by 20/6