Journalists to receive training on Parliament business

Tuesday, September 19th, 2023 09:00 | By
Journalists to receive training on Parliament business
National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang’ula. PHOTO/Courtesy

The National Assembly leadership has called for classical training of journalists on Parliament business to enrich accuracy and quality of reporting on parliamentary news beats and avoid the risk of misinforming the public.

In his official opening remarks during the National Assembly leadership and Editors retreat at a Mombasa hotel, Speaker of the National Assembly Moses Wetang’ula (pictured) said it is important for media houses to train a particular cadre of parliamentary journalists, reporters and analysts to be top experts in parliament reporting.

“It is important to get a cadre of journalists and analysts who can be able to distinguish between processes of legislation effectively…  You know everybody wants face in the screen; name in the media and when they have an idea they would want to move as fast as possible in the media space …sometimes you get horrified when a member brings a draft motion. Before even the speaker approves a motion to go to the floor, he tips the media and the media says there is some law coming to do the following… a motion is a motion. If it is not passed by the house it is not law,” explained Wetang’ula.

Specialised training

But while acknowledging the need for training, editors argued that various government organs like Parliament, the Judiciary and other agencies should spearhead the initiative of offering specialised reporting to journalists.

The editors at the same time said in fact the Parliament is to blame for orchestrating haemorrhage of top talents in parliamentary reporting thereby resulting to the current shortage being experienced in newsrooms.

“We are producing and financing journalism at a very difficult time due to tightening revenue streams. Because of this many newsrooms cannot afford to secure resources for training of their journalists.

“The answer lies with partnerships with government organs such Parliament, Judiciary and agencies in health, research, energy, agriculture, trade and foreign policy to support in specialised training on reporting in these areas. Journalists don’t go to media schools to study Standing Orders,” said Political Desk Editor at People Daily, Emeka Mayaka.

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