Editors concerned over future of media

Sunday, January 31st, 2021 17:38 |
Journalists based in Kiambu County with members of the Kenya Editors Guild during a workshop at Elysian Resort

The Kenya Editors Guild is re-evaluating the state of journalism and media which it says is at a crossroads in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The editor's caucus has been going around the counties gathering views and recommendations from scribes in a bid to come up with a post Covid-19 policy document.

Speaking during a training session for journalists in Kiambu, a member of the Editors Guild David Makali said stakeholders and the government should come up with strategies to ensure the sector survives post Covid-19 era.

"The media is a significant player in the country's governance. We must make sure it doesn't die. Imagine a situation where you do not have mainstream media and we must depend on social platforms? The consequences will be dire," said Makali.

Makali added that the meetings are an ongoing initiative by the professionals and many others to figure out the future and ensure journalism and the media is sustainable.

The guild, he said, is convening various fora to reach out to stakeholders and bring on board all views that will be put together into a policy document and petition to government and the media houses on how to tackle the emerging challenges that are are affecting different players.

Another member of the editors guild and a media trainer, Ken Bosire said the interactions are important as when Covid-19 struck a lot of things changed including the laying off of over 400 journalists most of whom had no other means of livelihood.

"The practice of journalism must be let to grow and must be sustained," he said and added that there will be a policy paper that will address media issues and stakeholders especially the state.

Bosire also noted that there a lot of internal threats to the industry especially in regard to new media and other ongoing dynamics and how mainstream media responds to them," he added.

Local journalists led by KBC's Tom Kimani recounted how reduced earnings occasioned by effects of the pandemic have hampered their operations and called for establishment of a kitty to cushion media practitioners from similar unforeseen circumstances.

The scribes also criticized the government for enacting restrictions against journalists including the recent ban on journalists from accessing schools.

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