The Ethical Journalism Network’s board member, Racheal Nakitare, Chief Producer for television at the Kenyan Broadcasting Corporation gave a keynote speech on ‘Ethical Journalism and Self-regulation’ on 29 April 2016, on the first day of Federation of Journalists conference in Abuja, Nigeria.
Ahead of the congress Nakitare said:
Considering the lack of safety for working journalists in Africa it is essential to stress the importance of research and analysis in journalism. African politicians have perfected the art of propaganda and tirelessly woo the support of journalists at the detriment of the profession and media at large.
Politicians use propaganda because they are aware that they are often able to influence their supporters based on ethnic or religious affiliations. Social Media has further complicated the matters for reporters because of its spontaneity and anonymity of sources.
Journalism will only make sense when reporters take time to invoke the ethical values of accuracy, impartiality, independence, humanity and accountability. This will only be achieved if journalists take time to research thoroughly and critically analyze the people and situation they are reporting on. Inaccurate reports do not only threaten the lives of the reporters but signals a death nail on the profession that is already under siege.
Background on the ‘Access to Information and Ethical Journalism’ session:
This session spoke to the many plans of action in Africa on the right to access to information in Africa. What has been achieved, and what are the challenges? Access to information should expand the space for media coverage of elections, good governance, and the social issues such as health, education, poverty and migration facing the continent. The session also discussed ethical journalism’s impact on good governance and the political dispensation in Africa.