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Uhuru: Media has to act responsibly

02 May 2014, 13:30 Victor Tinto

Nairobi - President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged the media to act responsibly and ensure that the country moves in the right direction thanks to responsible reporting.

The president says that the media plays a big role in societal, economic and moral growth and that it is the duty of the media to ensure that they exercise their roles in the right manner.

He added that the government would not try to harm media freedom but it would also be in a position to ask questions when there are wrongs.

" There is no room here for absolute freedom of the press. There is no room here for a freedom of the press that does not come with an equal challenge for the media to be responsible, he said in his speech to celebrate the world press freedom day.

" It is your job as journalists to check your facts, and after you have checked, to check again. It is your job as journalists to know what the law requires, and to observe its demands. It is your job always to keep by your side your own code of conduct and to refer to it before your story is written, he said.

" Where this is not done, where you fail in your duties to yourselves, your profession and your countrymen, then the state must and will defend those who have no other way of protecting themselves, he added.

The president also said that the government would continue to partner with the media when it comes to fighting social vices such as HIV/AIDS.

" My Government spends substantial sums to reach Kenyans with basic public-service information on such services as public health. These are matters in which my government would like a closer partnership with the media, the better to improve the lives of our people.

" We wish to see a situation where the electronic media, in pursuit of its information and educational role, and in keeping faith with its social responsibility, provides free public service announcements to the Kenyan people.

" Equally, as we struggle with the HIV/Aids situation in our country, the media would do well to partner with the government by broadcasting, as a service to the public, educational messages on the pandemic, he said.

The president further reiterated the importance of the ICT sector and the need to have the country develop infrastructure to build ICT.

" The country has made great efforts to lay down the infrastructure we need to transmit information. Our goal in landing fibre-optic cable at the Coast, and laying it throughout the country, was and remains, to promote the most rapid spread and exploitation of knowledge. That is a single, though prominent, example of the lengths to which we are going to modernize the country’s ICT infrastructure.

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