Kenya Serving as Fairness Doctrine Test Market
Since the passage of the Kenya Communication Amendment Bill, journalists in the nation’s capitol have faced severe treatment by corrupt government officials — no, Gov. Rod Blagojevich isn’t involved – in the nation’s capitol, leading me to describe it as a test market for the Fairness Doctrine.
Today, according to a citizen journalist reporting at NowPublic.com, four Kenyan journalists were rounded up in Nairobi near the location where the country’s 45th anniversary of independence (a.k.a., “Jamhuri Day”) was being celebrated.
The English-language newspaper, The Standard, reports police have arrested 100 civil society members and journalists in a bid to stop a peaceful demonstration outside Nyayo National Stadium Friday morning.
Another article in the same publication highlights the outrage expressed by media organizations, trade unions, journalists and professional organizations at the passage of the new law affecting the country’s news media:
The Media Owners Association asked President Kibaki not to sign the Bill into law. The organisation’s vice-chairman, Mr Martin Kafafa, accused Information Minister Samuel Poghisio of betrayal and going against an undertaking with stakeholders to withdraw the offensive clauses.
“They took away the freedoms we fought for in the Second Liberation,” said Kafafa, adding that revenge, not reason or statesmanship, was the motive for the unanimous vote.
On the floor of the House last summer, Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) — a former radio talk show host — offered remarks about the threats posed by reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine:
“Bringing back the Fairness Doctrine would amount to government control over political views expressed on the public airwaves. It is a dangerous proposal to suggest the government should be in the business of rationing free speech.”
To learn more about the dangers presented by the Fairness Doctrine, read There Is Nothing Fair About the ‘Fairness Doctrine’ or read this summary put together by the Heritage Foundation.