Kenyan vice president Kalonzo Musyoka has urged local journalists to set up a professional body, to manage training and advance the practice of reporting in the country.
Speaking at at an evening cocktail party hosted by journalists in the capital Nairobi last week, Musyoka argued that formalizing the existing Journalist Association of Kenya (JAK) would be a great step towards opening up opportunities for journalists.
The vice president said such an association could be handed powers to develop a modern code of conduct for journalists and provide mentors for new journalists.
Musyoka suggested that a formalised JAK could also run a database of freelance and international correspondents working in the country. Unless changes are made, he added, Kenya’s fast-growing public relations industry will overshadow the journalism sector.
“Many journalists just get into the media and do not know their way. We need a professional association that can identify people and guide them along. A professional body will help journalists in Kenya get international exchanges, scholarships and open up the profession to better standards,” argued Musyoka.