Media Council threatens to close the Star over offensive stories

THE Media Council of Kenya is threatening to close down the Star newspaper.

Today it issued a press release saying that it was contemplating “withdrawal of accreditation of its journalists and excommunication of the paper from media enterprises regulated under Media Council of Kenya.”

Only accredited media outlets and journalists are allowed to work in Kenya under the Media Act of December 2013. Withdrawal of accreditation would be equivalent to closure.

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The press release signed by Grace Munjuri, Chairperson of the Ethics and Public Information Committee, complained about “persistent publishing of offensive stories and pictures by the Star.” It did not specify which stories or pictures had been deemed offensive.

The press release stated that the Media Council had “summoned the management of Radio Africa Group on Thursday, 22 January 2015 to explain the unprofessional conduct of its journalists before an appropriate action is taken.”

Today the Star Managing Director, William Pike, wrote to the Media Council requesting a formal communication to appear on January 22 as neither the Star nor the Radio Africa Group has received any such request from the Council.

He also requested the Media Council to specify which articles had caused offence as the Star was at risk of being found guilty without the chance to prove its innocence.

He said that the Star had always respected requests to appear before the Media Council Complaints Commission where several cases are presently under adjudication.

The Commission had found the Star at fault in only one case and the paper duly published an apology as directed.


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