KENYA: Bishop Obanyi urges Journalists to Stem Fake News and Restore Dignity in Media

NAIROBI, MAY 19, 2020 (CISA)- Rt. Rev. Joseph Obanyi, the bishop chairman of the Commission for Social Communication of the Kenya Conference of Catholic bishops (KCCB) has called on journalists to practice responsible journalism and stem the spread of fake news.

“I appeal to all the members of the press to understand that they have the responsibility of stemming the spread of fake news and to rediscover the dignity of journalism and the personal responsibility of journalists to communicate the truth. As Journalists, understand that you serve a fundamental purpose in society when you speak the truth and report it fairly, objectively and accurately,” he said in a May 17 statement released after celebrating Mass at the Holy Family Basilica, Nairobi.

Recognising the uncertainties, and challenges that journalists are facing in their efforts to cover the Pandemic, the bishop asked them to take precautionary measures so as to avoid contracting the virus.

“We call upon you to take care to protect yourselves from infection and to beware of fake news and misinformation that is shared across social media about the Coronavirus,” he said.

“We, as Catholic Bishops, appreciate the commendable work done by the Media Houses and Journalists in ensuring Kenyans are informed about Covid-19 and other important news,” he added.

He further called on government to ensure the personnel in the frontline of combating the disease are well catered for and protected.

“…we are appealing to the Government to swiftly facilitate the health care workers who are at the frontline of the response by sensitizing, protecting and supporting them do their work of saving lives,” he said and called for government support for faith based health facilities to protect workers and patients from Covid-19.

“We also request that Faith Based Organizations who run Health Facilities be included in the Government support for infection prevention and control to be able to prevent infections and protect healthcare workers and other patients as we continue to offer essential health services,” he noted.

Kenya has reported 963 Covid-19 infections, 358 recoveries and 50 deaths as at May 19.