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Challenges faced by journalists in their media operations

By Raymond Owiti | Aug 16th 2017 | 2 min read

Media practitioners are professionals who comprise the mass communication industry in order to disseminate information to the public. Media is divided into print, electronic and social media. The media practitioners act as a watchdog to the society thus the society relies on them for information. If the Media Practitioners do not perform their work effectively the society is also affected negatively.

According to human Rights Watch research report and article 19, local and international journalists in Kenya have been under strict follow ups since 2013. The Kenyan government has also attempted to bar journalists with legal, administrative and informal measures inclusion of intimidation, harassment, online and phone surveillance, and in some cases, physical assaults and threats.

Since 2013 to date, 17 incidents of physical assault of 23 Media practitioners have been done by big cartels and government officials according to human rights watch and article 19. The police have however not taken any action despite receiving complaints from the Journalists.

The Kenya Police are also suspected to have been involved in such cases by directly threatening, arresting, arresting, intimidating and physically attacking journalists during their operations. With Walter Menya, a Nation journalist being a victim before elections, Kenya Union of Journalist secretary general Eric Oduor addressing Journalists on June 19, 3 said that Journalists must say 'no' to intimidation.

Masden Akoko a Journalist, says that laws should be taken to parliament to guide all media practitioners to do whatever is required according to the constitution. He however urges the Communications Authority of Kenya to try and regulate what is publicized by the media stations. Having been a victim and had his colleagues undergo media harassment, he has hope that the government shall listen to their cry.

“Ask leaders not to draw Kenyans back to the Moi era when the media did not have freedom. Intimidation from politicians and cartels should henceforth stop since media practitioners need to enjoy the press freedom that is recognized worldwide,” says Kennedy Okoth, a journalist.

The media practitioners expect that from their cry, the leaders shall also recognize them as important personalities in the community to enable them perform effectively.

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