EDITORIAL: Stop attacks on reporters - Daily Nation

Stop attacks on reporters

Friday September 7 2018

By EDITORIAL
More by this Author

Some recent incidents have demonstrated the grave danger posed to journalists diligently going about their duties.

The latest is the abduction of a Nation Media Group journalist in Migori County.

Though lucky to be alive after being severely injured in an attack by criminals, the news source he had gone to meet was later found dead.

Two weeks ago, there was an uproar over the arrest of NMG journalists at the Coast for filming the construction site of a hotel in Mombasa County that is suspected to be illegally encroaching on the Indian Ocean.

And the continued bad spell for the journalists includes the recent arrest of a reporter at the offices of a water company in Murang’a County, where a dispute has been raging.

VIOLATION

These are not the only incidents in which journalists’ right to gather and disseminate information has been crudely violated.

We must condemn in the strongest terms possible the increasing attacks on journalists in the line of duty.

This interference with their right to do their work also infringes on the right to information.

The Kenya Editors Guild has also condemned the incidents but expressed hope that the criminal justice system will speedily and relentlessly pursue and bring the culprits to book.

INTIMIDATION

The emerging trend, where goons working for some politicians and administrators have attacked journalists, is a clear attempt at intimidating and stopping them from doing their job.

While journalists sometimes make mistakes, those aggrieved by any reporting have recourse to the courts. They can also petition the Complaints Commission of the Media Council of Kenya.

The attacks on journalists are not only criminal and unacceptable but also unconstitutional. Safety of journalists is paramount for an effective independent media capable of serving the public interest.