World Press `Freedom Day`

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Journalists all over the world, once again, celebrate World Press Freedom day celebrating the milestones made.According to UNESCO, this day serves as an occasion to inform citizens of violations of press freedom – a reminder that in dozens of countries around the world, publications are censored, fined, suspended and closed down, while journalists, editors and publishers are harassed, attacked, detained and even murdered.

The theme for this year’s World Press Freedom Day is “Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation” and it discusses current challenges faced by media in elections, along with the media’s potential in supporting peace and reconciliation processes.In Kenya, journalists are celebrating this day with mixed reactions.Attacks on the trade still continue to erode the goods the trade seeks to achieve.

Physical hurt, especially in the county assemblies is becoming a norm and correspondents are slowly finding it difficult to transact business.

A Kenyan journalist carries a plastic replica of a camera as he participates in a protest along the streets of the capital Nairobi, December 3, 2013. Members of the Kenyan media marched in a peaceful protest to denounce the new draconian laws tabled by parliament. Kenya’s president vetoed a bill that would have imposed fines and restrictions on journalists, saying it was unconstitutional, the first time he has used his power to reject legislation. Critics say rules laid down in the bill would curb investigative reports on corruption that plagues Kenyan public life and some media groups threatened to go to court to block it. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya (KENYA – Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS MEDIA) – RTX16263

Their right to inform and educate is fought by the same people’s representatives with competing interests.

Commercial interests have also created a new battle front for journalists who are forced to sing to the tune of advertisers at the expense of telling a story.

Counties have become notorious with this kind of attacks towards journalists to an extent governors and senior officials at the counties are demanding the sacking of journalists so that a story is not told.

As the Political Journalists Association of Kenya, we will not sit back and watch this happen.We call on the National Government to be more vigilant and protect us and our trade under articles 34 and 35 of the constitution.In this age and Era, we still have Journalists who go for months without pay in blatant disregard against the International Labour Laws.We call on Media owners and the management to take cognizant that journalists too require decent pay.Journalists equally need to be professional, accurate and factual at disseminating information,  as well as join professional outfits to help guard our welfare and interests.

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