The Editors’ Guild set up a camp in Mandera over the weekend with an aim of interacting and explaining the role of media to the community.
Led by chairman Churchill Otieno, the team was on a fact finding mission on how to cement relationship between locals and the media.
“We have engaged in a town hall meeting with audiences in far flanked areas and the clear notion is that editors are only based in Nairobi,” he said.
According Mr Otieno, such interactions will build public confidence and trust in media.
Locals registered dissatisfaction with how the media houses have sidelined Mandera for the past over 50 years since independence.
Governor Ali Roba, speaking at the forum. called on media houses to set up offices in Mandera.
“We need to be put at the same level with other counties and have our stories told positively,” he said.
Mr Roba said Mandera has many opportunities and thus should not be locked out just because media is concentrating on negative stories.
“We need good services from the media so that we can realise our development agenda and attract a workforce in our different sectors,” he said.
Mandera is characterised with negative reporting arising from regular terror incidents due to its close proximity to Somalia.
“We are still marginalised even with devolution since we still get less consideration in sharing devolution opportunities and we media has to push this agenda for us,” he said.
Editors’ Guild launched its “Taking the Media to the People” drive in Mandera that will see it go round all the 47 counties with a mission of improving ties between county governments and media houses.
Mr Roba asked the editors to ensure that there is a balance between positive and negative stories in Mandera.
“Our population is resilient and we need to see our positive stories coming out as far negative stories are coming out,” he said.
Locals complained of being given little space in the media platforms but the umbrella promised to look into the matter.