The Kenya Correspondents Association (KCA) has asked stakeholders in the election to protect journalists.
Association Chairman Oloo Janak noted that with the upcoming August 9, general elections, journalists have a huge role to play.
In a statement to mark this year’s World Press Freedom Day, Janak said elections provide one of the most challenging periods for journalists.
“As we mark this important event, KCA wishes to call for greater awareness and protection of journalists from digital surveillance and other forms of threats to their safety and security in their work, and especially ahead of the General Elections,” he said.
Solidarity in the media industry
KCA is an entity that provides a platform for media correspondents to interact, build solidarity and enhance their profile and recognition in the media industry.
Janak said journalists require enough support to facilitate an environment for journalists to offer effective and fair coverage of the electioneering process and the actual elections.
“We urge media stakeholders, government agencies, political and other actors within the
electoral environment to commit to promoting press freedom during this period,” he said.
As we mark this important event, KCA wishes to call for greater awareness and protection of journalists from digital surveillance and other forms of threats to their safety and security in their work, and especially ahead of the General ElectionsOloo Janak
He challenged journalists to demonstrate courage, renewed commitment and ethical
conduct in their work.
“We wish to emphasize that media managers and owners have a duty to offer journalists and other media workers the needed support, including improved remuneration, especially to the correspondents who work in difficult environments that expose them to various vulnerabilities,” he said.
He added: “We also call on media stakeholders to cultivate greater solidarity ahead of the elections through consultation and consensus on policy, legislative and regulatory issues within the industry.”
He called on media regulatory bodies to exercise their mandate more judiciously within the challenging and sensitive electoral environment, adding that any overzealous approach on their part may undermine press freedom.
“As media stakeholders, journalists and media outlets, we have the important duty of
serving Kenyans through critical and robust coverage of the electoral processes to hold
leaders and the governments at both levels, and other duty bearers accountable as part
of our contribution the realization of a more democratic and responsive leadership
through the impending elections,” he said.
World Press Freedom Day is marked every year on May 3 following a proclamation by the UN General Assembly in 1993 arising from a recommendation adopted at the twenty-sixth session of UNESCO’s General Conference in 1991 in Windhoek, Namibia.