What you need to know:
- The media play a pivotal role as the watchdogs of the society.
- Last year, 62 journalists were killed in the line of duty across the world.
Occasions such as the World Press Freedom Day provide a forum for reflection on the practice of journalism, the joys, achievements, and the numerous challenges. A key highlight this year, as has perennially been the case, is the grave concern about the safety of journalists.
The media play a pivotal role as the watchdogs of the society, tirelessly and relentlessly holding up the bad examples that must be shunned and many that inspire the search for solutions to the problems facing humanity.
It is quite sad, therefore, that some journalists have ended up paying the ultimate price. However, that should not scare away those whose duty it is to highlight challenges and give alternative courses of action.
Sadly, last year, 62 journalists were killed in the line of duty across the world, with some succumbing to Covid-19. This calls for the creation of a safer working environment.
Attacks on journalists
Though no killings have been reported in Kenya, a lobby, Article19 Eastern Africa, recorded at least 51 cases of attacks on journalists, including eight women, between May 2020 and April 2021.
A fortnight ago, police beat up and injured nine journalists covering the eviction of families on disputed land in Embu County. There have been numerous other cases of brutality against reporters.
Notably, though, it was a drop from the 59 cases recorded between May 2019 and April 2020. However, a much greater effort must go into eliminating the persistent threat to reporters. We could not agree more with the challenge to journalists to keep going despite the challenges as they have a vital job to do.
The errant authorities and others who have something to hide will definitely persist in their wrongdoing if nobody is watching. That is the crucial responsibility of the media – to highlight the wrongs so that action can be taken.