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SJAK marks Olympic Day with support for journalists affected by COVID-19

As the Kenya government announced a stimulus package for various sectors that included selected athletes, there has been no direct support for the struggling media industry.

In Summary

• In partnership with the Media Council of Kenya, Fidelity Insurance and fellow sports journalists from around the world, SJAK raised Sh320, 000, which was used to purchase foodstuffs for 50 of their colleagues who are most in need during this period.

Some of the foodstuffs presented to journalists affected by COVID-19
Some of the foodstuffs presented to journalists affected by COVID-19
Image: /ERICK BARASA

Kenyan sports journalists are among thousands of media workers around the world who have either been furloughed, lost their jobs or had their salaries reduced following the coronavirus pandemic.

As the Kenya government announced a stimulus package for various sectors that included selected athletes, there has been no direct support for the struggling media industry.

Journalists and staff working for five leading media groups in the country have had their pay slashed by up to 50 per cent and this saw SJAK come forward and cushion some of their members and colleagues with food and essential items.

In partnership with the Media Council of Kenya, Fidelity Insurance and fellow sports journalists from around the world, SJAK raised Sh320, 000, which was used to purchase foodstuffs for 50 of their colleagues who are most in need during this period.

SJAK president Chris Mbaisi, who spearheaded the initiative on a day that is recognised by journalists and athletes across the world, said it was important to spread positivity and share the Olympic values during this difficult period.

“It’s our small way of standing with our colleagues during this difficult period as we hope that things will ease up soon and sports return after the containment of the virus,” said Mbaisi.

Mbaisi, who is also the Vice President of AIPS Africa noted that sports news correspondents, photographers and freelancers have been hard hit by the lockdown triggered by the pandemic. Olympic Day commemorates the birth of the modern-day Olympic Games.