Journalists decry victimization du**ng campaign coverages

By , K24 Digital
On Sat, 30 Jul, 2022 13:53 | 2 mins read
PJAK Chairperson, Kennedy Murithi flanked by political journalists during the press conference in Naivasha.
PJAK Chairperson, Kennedy Murithi flanked by political journalists during the press conference in Naivasha. PHOTO/Irene Githinji

Political journalists have condemned their constant victimization while covering campaigns ahead of the general Election.

With just about nine days left to the elections, Political Journalists Association of Kenya (PJAK) regretted that some political players have insulted, bullied and in some cases, denied the journalists opportunity to cover political events.

The journalists led by PJAK Chairperson, Kennedy Murithi stated that they have witnessed worrying trends where they have been physically ejected from political events, intimidated, called names, some profiled based on their religion/ethnicity and threatened with dire consequences, a situation that should stop forthwith.

"PJAK is concerned that although the Constitution guarantees Freedom of the Media in article 34, we are witnessing instances of threats, intimidation, profiling of journalists and physical assault. Statistics from the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) shows that since January 2022, more than 50 journalists affected," Murithi stated during a press conference held in Naivasha.

"Political journalists are key components in not just elections but for the advancement of information and democracy in Kenya.  We want to state that journalists and especially, political journalists have no preferred candidates in this elections or any other,"

Murithi insisted that journalists are apolitical, objective and professional and called on Inspector General of Police to assure journalists of their safety while covering elections regardless of their tribe, religion or workplace.

Journalists urge IEBC to fast-track accreditation

He also urged the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to fast-track accreditation and ensure that all authorized journalists get unlimited access to the polling stations and tallying centres. 

"The political class and their supporters to immediately stop profiling, harassing and intimidating journalists in the course of their duty. Aggrieved parties should channel their grievances to relevant organs including the Media Complaints Commission," he urged.

He called on all journalists to exercise professionalism and integrity during the coverage of elections.

"Let the symbiotic relationship we have built with the public, politicians and security apparatus included to continue and not result into violence and physical assault," he added.

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