Editors Guild warns against attacks on journalists

Profession requires freedom for objectivity on the part of the press

In Summary

• Politicians, government officials and traders to urged to desist from attacking journalists for whichever reason.

• MCK boss David Omwoyo warned journalists against biased reporting.

Members of the public have a duty to ensure the safety of journalists, Kenya Editors Guild chairperson Churchill Otieno has said. 

Otieno also warned politicians, government officials, and traders to desist from attacking journalists for whichever reason.

He spoke in Lamu on Saturday during a meeting with community representatives, media audiences and opinion leaders on the performance of journalists. 

Otieno said journalism requires freedom to enable for objectivity on the part of the press.

The guild chairperson said they will not hesitate to take legal action against anyone found threatening or assaulting journalists.

“Journalists must be respected at all times. That's why KEG won’t stay silent if you attack them. We will come at you with everything,” Otieno said.

He said forums for the discussion of the challenges facing the media and editors with other professional organisations were important to journalists' work. 

The Kenya Union of Journalists secretary general Eric Oduor observed that the safety of journalists had been compromised by some individuals in power.

“As KUJ we have ensured those who attack journalists face prosecution. We know not everything in the news makes everyone happy but it’s our job,” Oduor said.

The Media Council of Kenya CEO David Omwoyo urged journalists to resist biased reporting.

He asked members of the public who have any complaints against the way journalists do their work to report to the MCK for investigations and subsequent punishment per the media ethics.

Omwoyo, however, stressed the need for a good working relationship between the county, national governments and journalists.

“If some journalists here work under the influence of some people, including politicians and other powerful individuals, we will investigate and punish them,” Omwoyo said.

Other members of the Editor’s Guild present in the meeting were Citizen TV Swahili Editor Jamila Mohamed and Everlyne Kwamboka of the Standard Media.


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