The Media Council of Kenya has formed a 29-member technical committee comprised of media, technology, academic and legal experts to develop comprehensive guidelines on the use of artificial intelligence, data analytics and social media in journalism.
The council announced Monday that the rapid advancement of technologies like AI, machine learning and automation prompted the creation of the committee. It will make detailed recommendations on the ethical and appropriate integration of these technologies into professional journalism practices in Kenya.
“Media houses are already using AI to maximize audience segmentation and feedback as the industry adapts to the fast-changing digital environment,” said David Omwoyo, CEO of the Media Council of Kenya, in the council’s press release.
The committee has been given a three-month timeline to develop three key documents: A handbook for journalists on reporting on AI and data; guidelines for media companies on using AI and data ethically; and rules for journalists’ use of social media and internet platforms.
“In addition to utilizing AI and data analysis in their work, the media have a duty to provide accurate, in-depth coverage on how these technologies impact the daily lives of Kenyans, their government and other key actors,” Omwoyo said. “Clear strategies for building media capacity and establishing ethical guidelines are urgently needed.”
The council acknowledged the profound impact advanced technologies are having on the media landscape and public discourse.
“The council recognizes the huge leaps in technology including the advent of artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation, which have allowed for breakthrough insights and applications that may truly change the world forever,” the press release stated. “Media content gathering, production and dissemination dynamics have fundamentally changed.”
The 29-member committee is comprised of leading experts like Michael Michie, John Walubengo, Silas Kiragu and Margaret Kalekye.
Others are; Sara Mumbua Nzuki, Susan Mute, Ellen Wanjiru, Carole Kimutai, Silas Kiragu, Michael Ortedo, Dr Gilbert Mugeni, Rosemary Mwangi, Dennis Kiprono, Ken Bosire, Alexander Masiga, Oliver Mathenge, Jeremiah Wakaya, George Mwamodo, Francis Mureithi, Alex Mwanegi, Joel Karanja, Oscar Otieno, Paul Kaindo, Anhosi K’Obonyo, Jared Kidambi, Lilian Kimeto, Antony Laibuta, Kenneth Kibet, Fridah Naliaka and Eric Munene.
The committee will collaborate to develop the handbook, guidelines and ethical standards for approval by the Media Council of Kenya. Their recommendations aim to promote responsible and ethical use of AI and digital platforms to improve journalism while mitigating emerging risks.