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Journalists seek govt intervention during end of year event

Journalists pose for a photo during the Scribes End Year Party at Frima Gardens on Saturday, December 3. [Courtesy Scribes 254]

Kenyan journalists have implored the national government to come to the aid of media houses undergoing difficult financial times.

The journalists, who convened during the Scribes End Year Party at Frima Gardens, say the internal review processes in some media houses have seen a number of journalists declared redundant, leaving them without a source of income.

Scribes Kenya President Roncliffe Odit says uncertainity surrounds the media fraternity as employers in the industry move to downsize due to lean profits.

"We are calling upon the Kenya Kwanza government and other stakeholders to join hands and map out ways of continuous equipping journalists to help them be all-rounded in keeping with the changing times," said Odit.

On her part, Communication Consultant Imani Sudi urged journalists to embrace digital innovations that are increasingly changing the way news is delivered to the public.

"The impact of digital disruption is real in the newsrooms. It is now all about how to survive the catastrophe through trainings, and developing a special niche in news," said Sudi.

The weekend event was sponsored by the Media Council of Kenya (MCK), the Engineers Board of Kenya (EB), the Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation (REREC), among other sponsors.

Media organisations in Kenya have been facing cash flow challenges due to billions of shillings owed to them by the government.

The financial difficulties have forced some media houses to retrench staff and engage in massive budget cuts.

On Friday, December 2, however, Acting Director of the Government Advertising Agency Gwaro Ogaro, ICT Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo said the government was committed to offset debts it owes media houses.