Kenya drops on press freedom index amid Kuria attacks

This comes amid attacks against media from some government officials.

In Summary
  • In Africa, countries leading in press freedom include Namibia which ranked at position 22. 

  • South Africa was position 25 while Cabo Verde was at position 33.

Kenya's ranking in press freedom has shown a declining trend, according to an index ranking by Reporters Without Borders.

Initially, Kenya stood at position 69 globally when it comes to press freedom in 2022 but is now at position 116 in 2023.

In Africa, countries leading in press freedom include Namibia which ranked at position 22. 

South Africa was at position 25 while Cabo Verde was at position 33. 

Among countries with less freedom for their media was Sudan at position 148, Djibouti at position 162 and Eritrea standing at 174. 

"Sudan, Djibouti, and Eritrea are the least ranked in the continent which is now described as the 'new disinformation and propaganda laboratory', " Reporters Without Borders said. 

Countries that ranked top were Norway which is at the top. Ireland ranked second while Denmark ranked third globally in press freedom. 

"Vietnam at position 178, China at position 179, and North Korea holds the tail at position 180 of all ranked countries," Reporters Without Borders said.  

This comes as the media in Kenya has been facing attacks from some government officials. 

Kenya's media was first attacked by Trade and Investments Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria who attacked Nation Media Group. 

The attacks began last Sunday during a church gathering when Kuria said he would sack any government official who advertises with the media house.

He accused the media house of propelling negative stories about the government.

Kuria's outburst followed an expose by NTV, a station under the group where it alleged that CSs were responsible for the drop in the price of edible oils.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua did not move to defend the media but described Kuria's attack on the media as 'holding the media accountable'. 

He also called on other leaders to join Kuria in his "accountability calls".

"Now Moses Kuria amewauliza maswali tatu and you are all over crying. You have seen nothing. We want to ask leaders in this country to join Moses Kuria to hold the press to account."

"They must be accountable to what they write and what they say and if they write lies, they must be countered with facts. There is nobody who is immune to accountability," Gachagua said.

After the attack, various media organisations and unions came out to speak saying such utterances were a threat to media freedom. 

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