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NRG photo of King Kalala and Shaq raises questions of media ethics

By Janet Kipya.

In the dynamic landscape of the media, where content creation and dissemination happen at lightning speed, the importance of upholding ethical standards cannot be overstated. Media outlets have a significant influence on society, shaping opinions, beliefs and behaviours.  Therefore, it is crucial for media houses to adhere to ethical standards and regulations related to decency and professionalism to maintain credibility and trust with the audience.

Recently, an incident on the NRG Radio social media platform was a clear indication of ethical violations in the media industry. During the show NRG Circle hosted by Shaq and Dj Twinizzle, a photograph was posted on X featuring presenter Shaq in a compromising position with his female counterpart King Kalala who hosts the NRG transit. The photograph depicted Shaq with his tongue closely placed below the breast of King Kalala. The image was accompanied by a caption that read ‘T[t]is is pure happiness’. It raised concerns about the boundaries and decency in media content. The incident, which happened on April 3, was inappropriate and violated media regulations.

One of the reasons the image may have violated ethical standards is the lack of professionalism it portrays. As representatives of a media organisation, presenters like Shaq and Kalala are expected to uphold high standards of conduct both on and off air. The image in question, showing Shaq with his tongue closely placed below King Kalala’s breast, can be perceived as unprofessional behaviour that undermines the credibility of NRG Radio as a brand. Such action can reflect poorly on the individuals involved but also on the organisation they represent, potentially leading to reputational damage.

Moreover, the sexual innuendo of the image further compounds the ethical concerns. The suggestive nature of Shaq’s gesture towards a colleague can be deemed inappropriate and offensive, particularly the public platform on which it was shared. Such behaviour not only crosses boundaries of decency but also risks perpetuating harmful stereotypes and attitudes towards women in the media industry. This can alienate certain audience segments and ultimately impact listenership.

In the context of the Code of Conduct for the Practice of Journalism in Kenya, which emphasises integrity, accuracy, and respect for individuals’ rights and dignity, the posting of such an image clearly falls short of ethical expectations. Media organisations have a responsibility to adhere to these ethical standards as a way of upholding the principles of responsible journalism.

In conclusion, while NRG Radio may cater to a younger demographic it remains crucial for them to uphold ethical standards and professionalism in their content. This is essential not only to preserve the integrity of the media industry but also demonstrate respect for their audiences.

Janet is a media analyst at the Media Council of Kenya.

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