Categorise media as ‘essential services’, MOA urges government


Categorise media as 'essential services', MOA urges government
MOA Chairman and Royal Media Services Managing Director Wachira Waruru. Photo/Courtesy

In Summary

  • In a letter to Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe, the Association's Chairman Wachira Waruru says that should the government opt to declare a lockdown to stem the spread of COVID-19, media houses ought to be allowed to remain in operation to continue informing and educating the public on their safety and well-being.

The Media Owners Association of Kenya (MOA) has urged the government to categorise all media companies as essential services in view of the current coronavirus pandemic.

In a letter to Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe, the Association’s Chairman Wachira Waruru says that should the government opt to declare a lockdown to stem the spread of COVID-19, media houses ought to be allowed to remain in operation to continue informing and educating the public on their safety and well-being.

“In view of the ongoing Government efforts against the pandemic, it is anticipated that if the situation turns from bad to worse, lockdown measures may be instituted as a last resort. In this circumstance, we wish to request the Government to categorise all media services as essential services,” says Mr. Waruru in the statement.

At the same time, the Association is also appealing on the government to consider including one of their representatives as a member of the National Emergency Response Committee on the coronavirus and the Business Emergency Response Centre.

The Media Owners Association chairman, who is also Royal Media Services Managing Director, further assured the government of the media fraternity’s support and commitment in sensitizing the public on the current pandemic.

“We take this opportunity to assure you and the government of our continued support and partnership towards efforts to curb the spread of the virus and affirm our partnership towards efforts to curb the spread of the virus and affirm our public interest mission to provide relevant and timely information and education to the public on the current pandemic,” the statement adds.

Mr. Waruru emphasizes that the media will remain at the forefront of reporting about the pandemic and proactively drive awareness prevention campaigns across all print, broadcasting and digital platforms.

The Media Owners Association of Kenya is comprised of Royal Media Services Limited, Cape Media Limited, Capital Group Limited, Ebru Africa Limited, Family Media Limited, Kass Media Group Limited, Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, Media 7 Group, MediaMax Network Limited and Multichoice Kenya.

Also under the MOA umbrella is Nation Media Group PLC, Radio 44, Radio Africa Group, Standard Group PLC, Switch TV and Three Stones Media Limited.

A majority of governments that have declared lockdowns to contain the coronavirus spread have left out essential services including shops dealing with foodstuff, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, banks, media, petrol pumps, and telecommunications service providers.

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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