June 13, 2024

Media Council Lash at Journalists Over Petty Grievances

MCK, media Training and Development Director Victor Bwire (Left) with MCK Regional Coordinator Maureen Mudi (Right) with some MPC members at the launch (Photo / Mwakwaya Raymond)

By Mwakwaya Raymond

Email, thecoastnewspaper@gmail.com

Media Council of Kenya dressed down Mombasa County journalists for engaging in unproductive endeavors and personal grudges that do not add anything to their professional development and wellbeing.

The council was categorical on this and told journalists to prudently utilize their valuable time and energy in pursuing issues that will be beneficial to their personal growth.

Presiding over the launch of Mombasa Press Club on March 20, 2024, MCK media training and development director Victor Bwire said journalists being the fourth arm of government were important in shaping the societal agendas.

This puts them in a special cadre and pedestal to always endeavor to conduct themselves with utmost decorum when running their journalistic duties.

He took issue with those engaging in meaningless squabbles that only end up undermining the journalism profession while their persons become public laughing stock.

With the ever-changing technology in the media industry, Bwire said the millennial journalists should take advantages of it to spread their wings in all existing information communication technology (ICT) platforms to grow incomes “not squabbles”.

“Journalists must stop this petty unworthy witch-hunts and embark on monetizing their work for a meaningful gain if only they want to cope with this fast changing media industry.”

According to the director the launch of the press club will open opportunities to members to sample out their work on a joint website hosted by MCK and this calls for taking their work seriously.

“Colleagues I want you to take life seriously and utilize the Media hub that will be launched soon, with that I can assure you you’ll remain viable in this competitive industry.”

So far, 13 press clubs have been launched across the country with three being Kwale, Kilifi and Mombasa in the Coast region.

The MCK director’s remarks came in the wake of grandstanding from a section of youthful journalists expressing their displeasure on the committee formed to spearhead the realization of the club.

This sparked a push-and-pull between the young turks and their senior counterparts with the latter dismissing the former as ‘greenhorns’ that cannot lead the club while the former told off the latter as ‘prophets of doom’.

Sources (name withheld) indicated that some senior journalists had been approached by MCK to establish the club, but failed well to deliver despite getting full support and facilitation from its local regional office.

“It took many by surprise to learn that the club was about to be launched under the leadership of the young Turks and this may have rubbed some seniors the wrong way thus the genesis of all these squabbles,” said a group of journalists who are in support of the club.

However, some of the youthful journalists expressed reservations of their colleagues running the show and threatened to remove them before the club’s launch, but it only ended up being a wishful thinking.

It seems the MCK director got wind of the infighting and without warning pounced ruthlessly on the schemers before unmasking their intent.

“You shouldn’t spend time talking behind the committee instead of pitching for a story grant, but you’re busy doing nothing. If you’re not satisfied with the leadership why can’t you form your own club if you think it’s that easy,” he said visibly angry.

During the launch, the Mombasa governor Abdulswamad Shariff Nassir asked journalists to uphold professional ethics and act responsibly when executing their watchdog duties.

On their part, both the Kenya Maritime Authority chair Khamis Mwaguya and deputy governor Francis Thoya praised the media for coming up with the club saying it would play a pivotal role in addressing their plights and dwindling finances. 

According to the chairman Omar Shungu the club is anchored on six pillars being Fostering Professional growth, Training and Research Development, Partnership and Collaboration, Welfare, Consultancy and Advisory

The council handed over a cheque of Sh100,000 to the committee to fast-truck its internal activities while Governor Nassir pledged to assist journalists through engaging the club in long-term arrangements.

“I’ll talk to my team to come up with a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the County government and the Mombasa Press Club (MPC) by drawing clear terms of engagements so that none of us does not ends up running out of the set guidelines.”

In his counter offer, the KMA chair Mwaguya promised to furnish the club’s hub with computers.

Also present at the launch were Mahmoud Noor Chief Mentor Swahili Pot Hub Foundation, MCK Coordinator Coast Region Maureen Mudi alongside other dignitaries.

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