Stakeholders in the media industry have called on President William Ruto to assure Kenyans that his administration will not silence journalists who expose mistakes in his administration.
Speaking during a press conference in Nairobi on Tuesday, June 20, 2023, representatives of the Kenya Media Sector Working Group noted the continued attacks on the media by the Kenya Kwanza government were worrying, calling on the international community to intervene and protect media freedom.
The media working group comprises 12 organizations, including the Kenya Union of Journalists, Kenya Editors Guild, Kenya Correspondent Association, Association of Freelance Journalists, Media Owners Association, Association of Media Women in Kenya, Digital Broadcasters Association, and Article 19.
"We are calling on President William Ruto to issue a firm assurance that they will not be allowed to seek shelter by trying to silence the media that exposes their mistakes. We are also calling on the international community to intervene and protect media freedom," said the Kenya Editors Guild (KEG) President Zubeidah Koome.
"The Kenya Media Sector Working Group stands in solidarity with the Nation Media Group and all journalists in the country against attacks and threats from government officials," added Kananu.
The statement comes after Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria, while speaking during the Akorino Annual Convention in Embu on Sunday, warned government departments against advertising with Nation Media Group. He later tweeted, comparing journalists to prostitutes.
"You people in the media, I want to tell you this. Nation media must make up its mind whether it is a newspaper, a media house, or an opposition party. Starting today, if I see any government department having put an advert in the Nation, you will be sacked," Kuria said.
Kuria’s statements were supported by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, who accused the media house of becoming rogue and supporting the ‘opposition’.
However, the DP said Kenya is a democratic country that protects and upholds media freedom, denying accusations that the government would stop advertising with the media house.