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Why Health CS May Not Hold Live Conferences Anymore
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|Why Health CS May Not Hold Live Conferences Anymore by Kenyans247(1): Thu 19, March, 2020 03:02pm|
Kenyans may not receive updates on the Covid-19 outbreak as they have hitherto been doing after Government spokesperson Cyrus Oguna was requested to call off all live press conferences.
On Thursday, March 19, the Media Council of Kenya met and made recommendations to Oguna, discussing in detail issues pertaining to media safety and practice, arguing that the pressers encouraged a congregation of a large number of journalists and media practitioners in one location.
This, it argued, was against the Ministry of Health's guideline on containment of Covid-19. Health CS Mutahi Kagwe and President Uhuru Kenyatta have held several press conferences in which they updated the nation."The national and county governments' departments and agencies, as well as private sector organisations, should suspend all live coverage," MCK stated via a press release on Thursday, March 19.
The agency further proposed a different model of communication, requesting the government to facilitate the provision of live feeds to national and community level media houses for public communication announcements from the national and county governments and to enable questions and answers through such live links.
It further asked the government to facilitate the provision of official content on Covid-19 to media houses, beyond advertising messages so as to enable them to disseminate the same in multiple formats and languages through vernacular, braille and sign language and also counter any misinformation.
"We encourage media houses to corporate with such arrangements for their safety in view of the risk of infections from crowded areas," the agency added.
The agency also urged the government to provide the media with protective gear as they cover the spread of the virus on the ground and provide logistical and other support.
However, Kenya Correspondents Association representative Janak Oloo, differed with MCK, arguing that communication was key in such a crisis and that it would be better to hold live conferences. Oloo opined that containing a press conference was a better approach than calling them off.
"Press conferences can be contained as journalists and practitioners can observe a distance. I would not support any attempt to limit communication
"The pressers can be held in the open and other raft measures considered," Oloo informed Kenyans.co.ke on Thursday, March 19.
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