Kenya: Will Citizen Media participate to ensure peaceful elections in Kenya in 2012-13?
Written by: Ephraim Kenyanito
Topics: Elections, Peace, Citizen Media
During Kenya’s general elections of 2007, residents of this East African nation went into post-election violence.
Ushahidi’s Ory Okolloh, David Kobia, Julia Rotich and Eric Hersman saw these developments as an opportunity to launch a website that would ensure leverage is achieved by citizen media during the post-election violence.
The results of this website were the best demonstration of the immense power that the world’s citizen journalists can have and how they can facilitate empowerment and community self-sufficiency.
While many Kenyans are unsure of whether there will be peace during Kenya’s elections of 2012-13, it seems that the online community is trying to encourage the citizen media to play a proactive role in encouraging peaceful elections and not just reporting on the outcome of the elections.
Alice W. Munyua is of the opinion that in order to prevent the extent and power of genocidal information is to have more positive and analytical information. Sarah Bakata shares the same view and even goes to the extent of stating that election violence was hatched in the Kenyan blogosphere.
Apart from providing positive and analytical information, in order to ensure peaceful election in Kenya in 2012-13, citizen media can provide early warning signs as Patrick Meir states in his case study on the role of citizen journalists in crisis environments.
Actions of David Kobia to shutdown Mashada after it became overwhelmed with divisive and hostile messages are just but some suggestions of radical measures that citizen media can take in order to ensure peaceful elections in Kenya in 2012-13. His subsequent launch of the site “I have no Tribe” should be a wakeup call to all citizen media that his was the first step that we need to take in the journey to peaceful elections in Kenya in 2012-13.
This task is being addressed by many global citizen journalists and Picha Mtaani is one notable initiative that seeks to “train and equip a new generation of Kenyan journalists to produce professional-quality alternative media content on issues that matter most.
The most important challenge for citizen journalists; is to ensure peaceful elections in Kenya in 2012-13. If each of us in this community takes steps to ensure peace in maintained, then there shall be lasting peace indeed.
Written by: Ephraim Kenyanito.