Thursday , 25 July 2013

Category Archives: Human rights

Feed Subscription<

Safe to speak: Securing freedom of information in media

CostaThe Media Council of Kenya recently set up a press freedom monitoring portal to record incidents of violence against journalists. Going through the portal, I am amazed at the high number of incidences reported; from the two Nation Media Group journalists who were attacked by the General Service Unit officers in Kibera to The Star journalist who was found dead in his house in Mombasa.  The Star journalist had received anonymous threats through text messages in connection with a story he worked on about the shipment and sale of fertilizer that had exceeded its expiry date. Read More »

How mentoring boosted my career in journalism

539340_10151233557947702_361083328_nMy long walk with the media started at Metro FM after I graduated from Daystar University in the early part of this century. I was the love doctor on the Metro love zone.

But despite building a reasonable following and playing great love ballads which I enjoyed tremendously, there was no hiding that the show was indeed a graveyard shift…I would work until midnight and then fight for space in the then face-me-style KBC vans that dropped all of us home!

It is then that I got an opportunity to attend an Internews in Kenya training in health feature production. It was a great opportunity. Since they had a media resource center I could access the internet for free and make phone calls. This was a bonanza for me since I have always been an infomaniac…I would spend time surfing the web and coming up with gems for my love show; the hardest I have ever worked. How it never translated into top ratings is a mystery to me and a story for another day. Read More »

Journalists’ right to information now guaranteed


As the media and the country await legislation on the right to information, a judge in a recent case has given direction as to who can access any information held by the State. High Court Judge Mumbi Ngugi ruled in a case in which Nairobi Law Monthly Limited, publisher of the Nairobi Law Monthly, had sued energy producer KenGen to release all information related to contracts it had awarded to two Chinese companies.

Read More »

Doves and blood: The mis-coverage of Kenya’s General Election

2013-03-04_kenyaelectionsMy most enduring impression of the foreign media in Kenya was formed during my adolescence. The assassination of J.M. Kariuki, the war and subsequent occupation of Uganda by Tanzanian forces, the death of Jomo Kenyatta and the attempted coup of 1982 will forever remain in my memory. These events ingrained in me the belief that my grandfather’s transistor radio was the only source of credible information. You see, my grandfather to whom I was close, loved his transistor radio and was a keen listener of BBC Swahili Service. Every evening at 6.30 pm, I joined him to listen to world news from the only credible source. Read More »

Ways to depict sensitive subjects in photography

Kenya’s Government spokesperson Mr Muthui Kariuki recently complained about a photograph that was carried in one of our dailies, The Star. In an open letter to the Media Council of Kenya that was also posted on his official facebook page, he disapproves of the publication of a graphic photo of a dead woman and her baby in the paper. The same image was used in a blog.

Muriuki’s main concern is that the image is disturbing. “As the Office of Public Communication and Government Spokesperson, we are extremely disturbed and concerned by the picture of a dead mother and child carried by The Star as it depicts Kenya to the global community, as a nation of savages who do not care about human life, especially the lives of women and children.” Read More »

Political parties endanger journalists

Kenyan journalists are up in arms after finding themselves fraudulently registered as members of political parties.
In a hotly contested election, where party affiliations have an ethnic hue, I also found it quite disturbing.
The journalists are likely to be seen as partisan by Kenyans. The matter should not be taken lightly since objectivity is one of the key tenets of journalism. How would a journalist, for example, registered to party A, cover stories in the strongholds of a rival party B?
Affected senior journalists shared their concerns with me. Read More »