Journalists have been urged to shun picking unverified news from social media and reporting them instead of verifying facts before disseminating them to the public.
Nyanza Chapter Kenya Correspondents Association ( KCA) chairman Araka Matara noted that social media is awash with unverified information and journalists could easily fall into the trap of reporting wrong information to the public and hence creating conflicts.
Speaking in Kisii town during the World Press Freedom Day celebration, the official, flanked by Gusii Scribes chairman, Joshua Nyangau and area Kenya Union of Journalists representative, Janet Nyamwamu implored the scribes to verify the information through given tools.
Journalists advised obn opinion polls
He appealed to reporters to shun reporting opinion polls without knowing their sources and ascertaining their authenticity, saying they will end up reporting wrong things.
“Do not copy and paste the opinion polls. Establish the truth before writing and disseminating it. Embrace professionalism and use technology to foster your work,” Matara said.
Nyang’au echoed Araka’s sentiments and challenged the scribes to be careful in their reporting during this electioneering period to unite the country ahead of the August 9 general elections.
He appealed to Kenyans to embrace peaceful campaigns, before and after the polls, adding that elections come and go but the country remains.
Scribe Ruth Mbula appealed to politicians to respect journalists and engage them professionally on issues affecting the society.
“We are messengers. Our work is a calling to serve the voiceless and we need collaboration to do our work well,” Mbula noted.
Nyamwamu appealed to the media owners to improve the salaries of scribes so that they can cope with the increasing cost of living and lead decent lives.
She appealed to the owners to consider increasing the minimum salaries by 12 per cent as stated by President Uhuru Kenyatta during Labour Day celebrations to improve their lives and curb mental illnesses due to stress.