Kenya Media Programme


Report on the safety of Kenyan journalists launched

The Kenya Media Programme (KMP) through its partner, the Media Council of Kenya, have launched the country’s first ever survey on the working conditions facing Kenyan journalists.

The report tilted, ‘Safety and Protection of Kenyan journalists: Is it common sense or common sense’ was launched to commemorate this year’s World Press Freedom Day that is marked on the 3 May.

The report documents case studies of journalists who have been attacked and harassed by state and non-state actors. Its findings were based on a survey that covered all of the country’s 47 counties with over 300 journalists being interviewed. It states that over 90 per cent of the journalists have been threatened at least once in their career; more than half (53.9 percent) been threatened at least twice and almost 20 per cent more than five times.

Politically-motivated threats were said to the most frequent faced by journalists, followed by threats sparked by stories that touched on corruption and land.

Poor working conditions, poor remuneration, compromised or inexperienced editors and lack of editorial support are some of the other challenges facing journalists the report revealed. Kenyan journalists indicated that the government and commercial interests of the local media houses are the biggest threat to media freedom in the country.

“The report gives us a better perspective of the prevailing situation as far as safety and protection of journalists is concerned. It also gives an indication of what needs to be done by identifying the existing gaps as far as safety of journalists is concerned. It helps shape the narrative of storytelling in a hostile environment and it helps media houses to invest in journalists and not be overly worried by the “bottom-line”, says KMP Programme Officer, Anthony Wafula.

The report is the product of the Media Working Group on the Safety and Protection of Journalists of which KMP is a member. The media working group says that it was appalled by the apparent lack of concern over journalists’ safety and protection in Kenya especially by the media houses they serve. The group calls on media houses to provide the required safeguards in order to protect journalists covering sensitive stories and those working in hostile environments.

Read the full report here : Baseline_Survey_Report_Final

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