Don't be arm-twisted by politicians, journalists told

Kenya Editors Guild (KEG) president Churchill Otieno [David Gichuru, Standard]

Journalists in Kenya have been urged to resist being used by politicians to further their ulterior agenda.

The Kenya Editors Guild (KEG) president Churchill Otieno said that during the electioneering period, rogue politicians attempt to use journalists to evade accountability.

Otieno made the remarks at the Sarova Stanley in Nairobi on Friday, June 17, when KEG held a ceremony in honour of the late celebrated journalist Philip Ochieng.

“A role that journalists must hold dear, is the right to offend [leaders who fail to deliver on their mandate],” he said.

“We should serve the truth. That would boost the confidence that the society has in journalists,” added Otieno.

The KEG president also asked newsmen to rein in on colleagues who flout the Journalism Code of Conduct.

Members of the Kenya Editors Guild (KEG) during a ceremony at the Sarova Stanley Nairobi, in honour of the late celebrated journalist Philip Ochieng on Friday, June 17 2022 [ Photo: Courtesy]

John Githongo, a former investigative journalist, urged journalists to resist the temptation of taking bribes.

“Senior people [in government and other influential sectors] are now calling journalists to give them ‘news’, offer bribes and threaten reporters and editors. Governments are known for weaponising news,” said Githongo.

“The oligarchs have since decided that it’s easier to buy media houses [to push their agenda] than pay lawyers [in courts] to influence the public opinion,” added Githongo, who is now an activist and commentator on governance.

KEG has assured Kenyans of free, objective and balanced coverage before, during and after the August 9, 2022 General Election.