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January 20, 2019

Better fi le a late, factual story than break fake news, NE journalists told

A Cameraman during a live coverage with cameras
A Cameraman during a live coverage with cameras

Journalists from Northeastern and across the county have been urged to verify sensitive information, especially on deaths, before publishing or sharing it.

Red Cross public relations manager Noellah Musundi said it is traumatising for families to learn about the death of their loved ones through the media.

Speaking at the Red Cross offices during a workshop for journalists from Northeastern, Musundi said, “I understand the pressure to breaknews stories. You are required to file stories as soon as they occur. But it is always necessary to ensure that what you file has been verified.”

“Being the first to break the news is okay, but think of what that news can do to families of the victims. We have instance es cidences where families receive news of the demise of their loves ones through the TV or social media.”

Musundi said it is better to file verified information late than have to correct an erroneous story.

Journalists in the region have complained about the slow response and confirmation of crimes from the authorities.

This is especially true for cases of terrorism, the most recent being that of Elwak where three people were killed after their vehicle ran run over an IED.

Musundi said although the Red Cross is an independent agency usually among the first to arrive, it cannot divulge information without sharing it with government authorities.

Some journalists said social media is giving them a run for their money as news spreads fast through the web.

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