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MCK: Why joint media tallying of election results failed

MCK chief executive David Omwoyo

Nairobi, Kenya  | THE STAR KENYA |  Media Council of Kenya (MCK) claims the efforts to organize a joint media tallying centre failed because talks started too late.

In a statement on Tuesday, MCK CEO David Omwoyo said that media owners and Editors Guild had agreed on the joint tallying like they approached the presidential debate.

“The discussion started too late in the day when individual media houses had already deployed in-house plans,” Omwoyo said.

According to a report on Election Media Coverage says that while the media houses largely relied on the Independent  Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) portal, different media houses displayed different results at the same time.

“All the results displayed by media houses were accurate and only sourced from IEBC portal. However because different media houses started counting at different times, others counted  in descending order, others in alphabetical order,” he said

“While some media houses employed more personnel than others and results displayed at any one time were not the same.”

He said that efforts had been made to deploy media personnel countrywide but the sudden availability of IEBC forms 34A on the portal caught many newsrooms flatfooted.

Omwoyo revealed that the different results were bringing unnecessary anxiety and therefore the stakeholders suspended the display of the results.

He, however, commended the media for the professional and responsible coverage of the August polls.

He said the preparedness and coverage of the polls were satisfactory compared to the previous elections.

“In the run-up to the polls, the Council trained over 3,500 journalists on elections coverage reporting on opinion polls and ethical principles,” he said.

He added that there were instances that lead to the violation of press freedom.

“At least 43 journalists from various media houses were affected by various forms of harassment in 12 incidences documented by the council,” Omwoyo said.

He urged the police to expedite the probe and bring the culprits to justice.

The Council also noted spread of misinformation and propaganda on digital platforms.



One comment

  1. Thanks for the explanation. I myself followed election results displayed by various media houses in Kenya. In fact we wandered why election results differed in all stations including KBC citizen TV KTN KTN news k24 among otherss, all had different results. These should serve has a lesson to mck and we hope it will not happen next time. Media is the only place public can acquire early and reliable information. So the information must be accurate for public consumption.

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