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‘Star’ editors summoned over ‘unethical conduct’

The Media Council of Kenya has summoned Radio Africa Group’s The Star newspaper top editors following public complaints that the publication has been publishing misleading stories.

In a press release signed by Ethics and Public Information Committee chairperson Grace Munjuri, the council said it was considering withdrawing accreditation to The Star journalists for unethical conduct.

The editors of the newspaper are to appear before the council’s Media Complaints Commission next Thursday to explain why the authority should not penalise the newspaper.

But The Star managing director William Pike accused the media council of witch-hunt, saying the council had not given specific cases of abuse by the paper.

“They have not tabled any specific story and they have not even given us the opportunity to defend ourselves before the complaints committee. We have appeared before the committee in the past and defended ourselves and even won a number of the charges they levelled against us. It is unfair to make such blanket accusations,” Mr Pike said.

OFFENSIVE STORIES

He said they had written to the council to furnish them with specific stories it considered offensive and asked for a chance to appear before the complaints committee.

The council said it had received a number of complaints from the public on violations by The Star, with many saying the paper is morally misleading and that it publishes stories in bad taste.

The council added that it had filed a number of complaints with the Media Complaints Commission and the cases were at various stages of adjudication.

In the statement, the media council said it was considering withdrawing accreditation to The Star journalists over its offensive stories and pictures.

“As the body mandated with promoting ethical standards among journalists and the media in Kenya, we are highly concerned with the blatant contravention by the newspaper of a number of articles in the code of conduct,” it said.