Media asked to mainstream stories on food security

The Media industry has been challenged to mainstream stories on food and related issues instead of talking about it superficially.

Media practitioners on Thursday were also asked to network with researchers and policy makers who could provide expert perspectives on food security and nutrition related issues in the country.

Route to Food, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that works towards realizing the human right to food, says there was need for journalists to familiarize themselves with ‘food insecurity and nutrition issues’ and report on the same authoritatively.

The NGO held two days capacity training workshop for journalists drawn from Mombasa, Kwale and Kilifi counties at a Mombasa hotel focused on improving reporting of issues of food security and nutrition.

A Media Consultant, Eric Latiff pointed out gaps in food security and sustainability reporting in the country and underscored the need to empower journalists to critically report and analyze the issue.

Latiff noted that the training was aimed at helping journalists to appreciate contexts to develop meaningful stories on food security in the counties.

He said more than 10 million people including children were estimated to be chronically food insecure and experienced hunger thus they were constantly undernourished.

The consultant said food security was human right issue, enshrined in article 43 of the Constitution, thus Kenyans had the right to be free from hunger and have food of acceptable quality.

Meanwhile, a Public Administration Scholar, Dr. Obuya Bagaka said the media has a critical role in promoting the devolution agenda.

He underscored the need for the media to push for developmental issues that mattered to the citizens and get over their fixation with political trivia.

The scholar said it was time the media turned their focus away from politicians spewing empty rhetoric and set the agenda for the nation and the 47 devolved governments.

There is need for journalists to interrogate and scrutinize County Integrated Development Plans (CIDPs) and other programs and keep on tracking the processes,” he said

Bagaka said the CIDPs provided comprehensive guidelines in budgeting, project funding, monitoring and evaluation of all the projects to be undertaken in a five year period.

Source: Kenya News Agency