Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa. PHOTO/COURTESY

By Sarah Omondi

The Media Council of Kenya has warned politicians against attacking media stations and branding them unprofessional saying doing so was an affront to media freedom.

The agency told off Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa over his September 5 post where he allegedly referred to Citizen TV as ‘Githeri media’, ‘Gutter Press’ and demanded that he retracts the statement and apologizes.

“I see Citizen TV has 4M likes. I am urging all the hustlers to click the dislike button. Acha tutembeze viatu maze,” MP Barasa shared on Twitter.

But MCK said the legislator’s post was a clear sign of intimidation by politicians to the media house and journalism at large which is unacceptable.

“Referring to Media as ‘Githeri Media’ or ‘Gutter Press’ without empirical evidence is a total violation of media practice and standards and we demand a retraction of the statement and an apology issued,” MCK CEO David Omwoyo said.

The screenshot of the MP’s post. PHOTO/PRESS POINT

He said politicians cannot on their term media as unprofessional as that would amount to taking the law into their own hands and proceeding to pronounce judgment on an issue they are not allowed to prosecute.

“Whereas the politician has the right to disagree with the editorial policies of any media house, it is unacceptable to incite the public against any media house,” Mr Omwoyo shared in a press statement dated September 6.

The council asked anyone aggrieved by ethical standards of journalists and media stations should file complaints via the relevant channels.

Mr Barasa’s Kapseret counterpart Oscar Sudi also on the same day in a Twitter post attacked the same TV station.

“I advise the Hustler Nation to desist from watching the TV. They are taking us back to the dark days… As hustlers, we can update ourselves using alternative sources like social media. Hata mlika mwizi iko na kazi yake,” Mr Sudi shared eliciting mixed reactions.


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