The media are required to be objective and to report fairly.
In an election environment, the media are particularly required to provide fair coverage to all political parties, coalitions and candidates.
It’s, however, true that in a polarising election like Kenya’s just-concluded general election, it is possible for a media house, more so a private one, to be misconstrued to be biased at different intervals by different sides of the political divide.
This may be prevalent in an industry where entrepreneurial interests may supersede the need for objectivity. However, the media play such a transformational role in our 21st century such that an emphatic and threatening condemnation of the media is not only retrogressive, but unacceptable.
It is, therefore, appalling when such surprising slaughter of the media comes from an individual or institution which has long sought to be aligned to progressive and democratic ideals, especially the freedom of the media.
Well-managed political establishments have communication structures with policies regarding relations with the media. Instead of unhealthy public outbursts, official complaints should be registered with the affected media house. No political establishment can win the war against the media.
Indeed, a media black-out against a politician or a political entity may be disastrous. The politician and the media need each other.
The media and the political class should check-mate each other and develop clear rules of engagement, which do not compromise or antagonise any of the parties.