Director of the largest private broadcaster in Kenya participates in a panel discussion during the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum. in Bonn
Rose Kimotho, Managing Director, Kameme 101.1 FM, Kenya.
“International media determine the agenda for development in Africa,” said Rose Kimotho, Director of the private radio station Kameme 101.1 FM, at the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum in Bonn. She said that it was important that broadcasters not to try to simplify conflicts or exaggerate them. “The international media can’t let us down,” said Kimotho.
During the discussion, the radio director went on to talk about the role of “hate media” in African regions with conflict: “Hate develops from the unknown and ignorance. The media has a key role in the fight against stereotypes. Journalists have to realize this responsibility. They are always part of society and therefore in danger when they side with a party in a conflict situation. Minorities orient themselves on the media that represent their interests.”
“Many people feel cut off from the important processes and events in their society. This is often the cause for conflicts and misunderstandings,” said Claudia Anthony, UN Radio, Sierra Leone. “The media has to offer people access.”
All of the panel participants agreed that there should be more of a commitment towards offering journalists in Africa professional training. The DW-AKADEMIE is already cooperating in this area with several partners in Africa and offers courses in journalism, management and broadcasting technology. “Journalists need forums where they can speak with each other,” said Anthony. This is especially important for providing balanced reporting about an election.
Apollinaire Malumalu, Chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission, Democratic Republic of the Congo said that the government sees journalists as a “threat to silencing war crimes and corruption.” He continued to state that government officials are therefore interested in appropriating journalists. “That’s why the media has to be independent from the government,” Malumalu said. “Journalists are important to the fights against fear and intimidation, as well as the government’s control.”
June 3, 2008