• Kaberia said Journalists should reclaim their status of journalism adding that journalists have the ‘I don’t not care’ attitude.
• Media Council of Kenya press freedom manager Dinah Ondari asked journalists to take the first initiative in keeping themselves safe by adopting the mantra 'no story is worth dying for.'
Journalists have been asked to uphold professional integrity when reporting on the forthcoming August 9 general elections.
Amwik executive director Judie Kaberia has particularly asked journalists to avoid the allure of hand outs from politicians, popularly known as 'brown envelope'.
“Let us remain professional. If I give you Sh1000 to write my story, this money will not help you. Let us sell our professionalism by living truthfully to our calling,” Kaberia said.
She spoke on Thursday during a breakfast meeting at a Nairobi hotel.
“Ask yourself why you are a journalist. As a journalist, is your conscience clean or you are hiding behind the media?” she posed.
In the run up to the polling day, aspirants from the political divide are usually in a last minute rush to gain an edge over their opponents.
Some, in a desperate move to gain media prominence, resort to dishing out handouts.
Kaberia said Journalists should avoid falling for such gimmicks and protect their integrity by adopting the ‘I don’t care’ attitude.
“We are at the integral part of our society and if we want to make changes we have to step up our game,” she said.
“Are we contributing to the confusion in the country? Are we the people creating the division in the country with our reporting?” she posed.
Kaberia said Journalists should not be sucked into politics and forget their watch dog mandate by highlighting all ills on the election.
“We should be asking serious questions right now. Let us be objective and let us be party to pointing out what happened,” she said.
Kaberia further weighed in on the safety and security of journalists during the electioneering period.
She particularly noted that female journalists are exposed to more risks compared to their male counterparts while in their line of duty.
Other than physical abuse, Kaberia noted that female journalists are also more exposed to online harassment.
"Because of increased safety challenges, a lot of women journalists are not willing to cover elections. Newsrooms should cushion journalists on such and provide safety for them at all costs,” she said.
Media Council of Kenya press freedom manager Dinah Ondari asked journalists to take the first initiative in keeping themselves safe by adopting the mantra 'no story is worth dying for.'
“Safety begins with you as a journalists. Maintain regular communication with employers, colleagues and protection organisations,” she said.
Ondari said safety begins right before journalists leave their homes including the type of attire they choose to wear when covering elections.
“Do not wear clothes that depict which part you are supporting. This will definitely put you at a very hard spot when violence breaks out,” she said.