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KFCB boss urges media to give hate mongers blackout

The Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB), Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr. Ezekiel Mutua, is calling on the mainstream media to give politicians spewing hate speech and profanity coverage blackout in the run-up to the 2022 General Election.

Media blackout refers to the censorship of news related to a certain topic such as hate speech.

Mutua wants media practitioners to give a wide berth to leaders and political parties without any sort of in-depth vision and manifesto for the Country.

Speaking in Mombasa, Mutua said the media should not allow political demagogues to propagate hate speech, cohesively dominate public discourse and silence popular voices.

“Politicians who thrive on divisiveness and use intemperate language, should not be given a space in the media,” he said.

Mutua spoke in the company of the Mombasa County Commissioner (CC), Gilbert Kitiyo and Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) Director, Charles Mulila.

The KFCB boss said the media should not allow it to be used as conduit for ethnic stereotyping, hate speech, incitement to violence and lies as the country hurtles towards next year’s high stakes election.

Mutua underscored the need to use the fast spreading social media with responsibility to promote goodness, moral values and harmony in the Country.

He said social media platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter can be a force for good, but warned of the inherent danger in them by spreading divisive news.

Mutua disclosed that KFCB is going to collaborate with KBC with a view to merging its Sinema Mashinani programme with that of KBC’s Studio Mashinani project.

He said the Sinema Mashinani project seeks to harness the power of storytelling by local communities and ‘enable to bring such stories to life on screen’.

The KFCB CEO said efforts are underway to ensure agencies under the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, operate under one roof in a bid to enhance service delivery to the people.

“In Mombasa we are going to have KFCB Regional Offices domiciled in Sauti House, where we already have KBC, Pwani FM, Media Council of Kenya (MCK) and KNA offices,” he said.

KBC Director, Charles Mulila, said the national broadcaster’s Studio Mashinani provides facilities for recording and arts for talented youth in parts of the Country, including Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and Machakos.

The County Commissioner warned against irresponsible social media use in the region.

“For example in recent weeks we have had to deal with fake news of children and women being kidnapped,” he said.

The Administrator said people should stop sharing fake news about human trafficking and kidnappings that have gone viral on social media platforms.

He said they were deeply concerned about the continued peddling of fake news and bogus messages and cautioned the general public against the incessant promotion and distribution of such malicious untruths.

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