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For many years, Kenyan media operated under very harsh environment. Journalists were beaten, arrested, detained, tortured, maimed, and even killed. Although the situation improved, the dark cloud hanging over the freedom of press has not been fully extinguished. And it has crept back with a big bang. In the last two years the current Government has passed laws that have far reaching effects on Kenya’s media freedoms, access to information and material reporting. The Kenya Information and Communication (Amendment) Act and the Media Council Act, effectively silences critical press reporting via newly-established government-controlled regulatory body and draconian hefty fines to be imposed on an individual journalist. Journalists are to be fined as much as Ksh. 500,000 (US$5,500) while media companies will be fined up to Ksh. 20 million (US$230,000) if these government-controlled body finds them in breach of government-dictated code of conduct. Another law is the Security Laws passed in December 2014 in an acrimonious session in parliament where opposition MPs were beaten and injured inside the parliament chambers. Parliament has voted to ban free press parliamentary reporting. The Military Bill will pose a major challenge to the press. Several journalists have recently been killed or died in very unclear circumstances. They all had been threatened with death for reporting on issues that had negative effects on the current government. Dozens of journalists have been detained by police, harassed, beaten and badly injured as well as their cameras confiscated by Government authorities. Freedom gains are being eroded quite fast.

The Good Governance Team-Kenya (GGT-K) views the press as an important segment in the overall governance process of a country. Journalists are another eye and ear of the society. They contribute immensely to the development of society through reporting and unearthing major and minor corruption, maladministration, human rights abuses, evil and criminal acts by leaders and all ills in society. GGT-K shall advocate for the media to be accorded highest protection and support to enable the media go about it’s duties however critical the media reports may be. Media tasks must be seen to have some convergence with Government goals such as fighting corruption, wastage of public resources and ending misdeeds by public officials. Media should be rewarded not punished when they unearth mega or small but many- corruption deals. Laws that oppress Kenyan media should be done away with.

See Links on Media Woes in Kenya today:

1.Kenyan reporter, 27, found dead in his home
2.Journalist's murder prompts fears for press freedom in Kenya
3.Kenyan editor murdered by unknown assailants in Eldoret town
4.Kenyan police assault journalists investigating corruption
5.Broken promises - How Kenya is failing to uphold its commitment to a free press
6.Kenya - Kenya and its press freedom commitment
7.Kenya falls short on promises for press freedom
8.Journalists Attacked: MCA attacks, injures Nation Nyeri bureau journalist
9.Journalists assaulted and arrested for doing their job in Busia

Media 4 

Courtesy of cpj.orgJournalists say they are routinely threatened, intimidated, and even attacked, and that government authorities are the culprit more often than not

Media 1

Courtesy of TV journalist Reuben Ogachi and a Tana River county driver lie in a Kenya Red Cross Society ambulance after they were allegedly attacked by General Service Unit police.

Media 2

Courtesy of: -ODM official attacks journalists

Media 3

Courtesy of: Attacked: MCA attacks, injures Nation Nyeri bureau journalist. NTV Kenya