Kenya Correspondents Association (KCA) today joins the local media fraternity and the global community in marking the World Press Freedom Day through various county based activities by its branches and networks countrywide.
In Bungoma, several journalists, joined patients at Kimilili sub county hospital and offered them goodies including fruits.
Speaking at the medical facility, Western region KCA Chairman Benson Lusenaka called on politicians to stop investing in the media industry if they don’t have resources to pay journalists.
“Majority politicians are investing in the media industry for political reasons, they are not paying journalists working for them, we are trained in the profession and need to offered good pay,” he said.
William Oloo Janak Chairman, Kenya Correspondents Association (KCA) stated that since 2018, the forum has been in the process, offered an opportunity to media practitioners based in the counties an opportunity to engage with the event and create greater awareness on press freedom issues to the communities and grassroots leaders.
This year, KCA, through its regional networks and other county based journalists’ associations will mark the event in more than 20 locations/counties through various activities.
World Press Freedom Day is marked every year on May 3 following a proclamation by the UN General Assembly in 1993 arising from a recommendation adopted at thetwenty-sixth session of UNESCO’s General Conference in 1991 in Windhoek, Namibia.
The day is set aside to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom, to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.
The global event is being hosted on 2-5 May 2022 by UNESCO and the Republic of Uruguay in Punta Del Este, Uruguay. The Conference will address the digital era’s impact on freedom of expression, the safety of journalists, access to information and privacy and will develop concrete recommendations to address these challenges. The theme of the event is: Journalism Under Digital Siege.
“World Press Freedom Day 2022 will reunite relevant stakeholders such aspolicymakers, journalists, media representatives, activists, cybersecurity managers and legal experts to explore these issues and develop concrete solutions to address the threats posed by increased surveillance to press freedom and privacy,” says UNESCO, in a brief on the global event.
As we mark this important event, KCA wishes to call for greater awareness andprotection of journalists from digital surveillance and other forms of threats to their safety and security in their work, and especially ahead of the General Elections in Kenya due on August 9,2022.
We urge media stakeholders, government agencies, political and other actors within the electoral environment to commit to promoting press freedom and creating a facilitative environment for journalists to offer effective and fair coverage of the electioneering process and the actual elections.
While we urge journalists to demonstrate courage, renewed commitment and ethical conduct in their work, we wish to emphasize that media managers and owners have a duty to offer journalists and other media workers the needed support, including improved remuneration, especially to the correspondents who work in difficult environments that expose them to various vulnerabilities.
We also call on media stakeholders to cultivate greater solidarity ahead of the elections through consultation and consensus on policy, legislative and regulatory issues within the industry.
We call on media regulatory bodies to exercise their mandate morejudiciously within the challenging and sensitive electoral environment as anyoverzealous approach on their part may easily undermine press freedom.
As media stakeholders, journalists and media outlets, we have the important duty of serving Kenyans through critical and robust coverage of the electoral processes to hold leaders and the governments at both levels, and other duty bearers accountable as part of our contribution the realization of a more democratic and responsive leadership through the impending elections.
Kimilili Mp Didmus Barasa urged leaders to stop intimidating media person’s.
He asked the media owners to pay well all journalists so that they can work in a favourite environment.
“We call upon leaders not to gag the media but offer them a better working environment so that they are able to work better,” he said.