African Press International (API)

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Posts Tagged ‘Journalist’

IFJ/FAJ Back Journalists Protest over Oppressive Media Bill in Kenya

Posted by African Press International on December 7, 2013

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) are giving their full backing to journalists in Kenya in their battle against a contentious Media Bill that threatens press freedom in the country.

IFJ/FAJ affiliate, the Kenya Correspondents Association (KCA), is on Tuesday, 3 December, led hundreds of journalists in peaceful protests against the oppressive clauses of the Kenya Information and Communication Amendment (KICA) Bill.

“We support our affiliate’s stance and all journalists in Kenya,” said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. “This Bill’s draconian provisions are gagging the media. We call on all journalists and press freedom advocate to gather as one to reject the provisions.”

The KCA says the bill, recently passed by Kenya’s National Assembly, provides heavy financial penalties for journalists and media houses which are designed to gag the media and intimidate journalists into not covering stories deemed critical by the government and the ruling elite.

“We stand by all journalists and call on them to mobilize in order to make the protest successful. This Bill is an attempt to undermine freedoms of expression and association in the country and all journalists and media practitioners must refuse that,” said Mohamed Garba, FAJ president.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) have recently expressed serious concerns about the intimidation of journalists in Kenya and some provisions of the country’s media bill.

It has provisions for a Communications and Multi-Media Tribunal which will fine journalists up to 5,952 US Dollars if found guilty of writing stories considered in violation of the Act, and a fine of USD 238,095 US Dollars in the event that the tribunal finds them guilty of violation of provisions of the act, largely on stories considered critical of the government.

. The KCA says the Bill, which was forwarded to President Uhuru Kenyatta for assent, has now been returned to the National Assembly by the President but with recommendations which are still unacceptable to the media industry.

According to the KCA, the president only declined to assent to the Bill after protests from stakeholders but has sent it back to the National Assembly with a memorandum that reinforces some of the offensive clauses, including entrenching government control of the media.

“We had consultations with the Parliamentary Committee on Energy and Communications and tabled our recommendation on the Bill but we realize there are forces within the executive who are bent on gagging the media,” said KCA chairman William Oloo Janak.

 

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Kenya: Cameraman based in Busia County assaulted by police officers

Posted by African Press International on July 12, 2013

  • By GODFREY WAMALWA, -API in KENYA

A cameraman with Kenya Broadcasting Corporation based in Busia county was assaulted yesterday by Busia police officers.

Josephat Okiria who was covering learning activities at Railway Academy in Busia was assaulted by the school head Mrs. Lilian Juma as he tried to collect the footage. The camera worth sh150,000 was shattered.

The reporter was on his duty covering teachers strike as an industrial court issued an order to have teachers back in class.

According to the reporter who was accompanied by his colleague from west fm radio Caren Papai, they raised an alarm where officer in charge of crime Moses Kameli  working at Malaba police came in and gun pointed at the reporters to stop covering the school.

The journalist was arrested and placed in custody at Malaba police station but were denied a chance to file a report or any statement by the said officer. They were later released on a free bond.

According to sources, the officer had earlier engaged in love affair with the school head, an issue which residents have called upon Inspector General David Kimaiyo and Director of public prosecution to move in.

When area OCPD Lucas Ongari was reached for comment, the officer said no journalist has been arrested and he is not aware of the incident.

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Over a Third of Euro Journalists’ Union’s Members and Leaders are Women, says IFJ/EFJ Study

Posted by African Press International on June 4, 2013

A study published jointly by the European and the International Federation of Journalists (EFJ and IFJ) has shown that women in Europe make up more than a third (42%) of journalist’s unions membership and leading positions (36%).

The results of the study, which surveyed 21 unions and journalists’ associations in Europe, shows a three per cent decrease in the number of female members and leaders compared to the results in the last EFJ survey in 2006.

“Although the trend for improved representation cannot be considered to be reversed our unions must remain vigilant as the gender equality issue is far from won”, said IFJ General Secretary Beth Costa. “These results will help us launch focused actions supporting women in union membership and their access to leading roles”.

The survey aims to assess progress made in reducing the representation gap between women and men in journalists’ trade unions. It also examines the number of young women with youth membership, as well as freelance and permanent staffers’ membership.

It presents an overview of union gender policies adopted by IFJ/EFJ affiliates in Europe and assesses to what extent the financial crisis has affected women and youth journalists more specifically than men in the profession.

Young women make up 53% of youth membership in journalists’ unions. This mirrors the extensive feminization of our profession”, said Kerstin Klamroth, the IFJ gender council coordinator for Europe. “The fact that very few of them access leading roles is a concern. We should think again about the space, policies and structures we develop for women of all ages so that unions can better address the needs of our profession”.

The EFJ recently elected a woman as its vide-president. The IFJ will hold its congress at the beginning of June and will decide upon its new leadership.

“The up-coming IFJ congress will be a good opportunity to tackle gender equality within our leadership,” said Costa. “We are taking important steps to allow this to happen by adopting a gender mainstreaming approach throughout congress. We hope that this will encourage women to stand for elections and actively participate in congress activities”.
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International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns the kidnapping of a TV journalist in Nigeria

Posted by African Press International on April 12, 2013

  • By Maurice Alal, API Kenya

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today has vigorously condemned the kidnapping of a television journalist in Nigeria.

According to Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), an IFJ affiliate, Olubunmi Oke a reporter and newscaster with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), her baby and maid were taken Thursday March 21 by four men who blocked her car as she was leaving her office in Akure, capital of Ondo state (South West).

Her baby and maid were released later while the car was found in another town. The reason of the kidnapping is unknown.

“We are deeply concerned by the kidnapping of our colleague. We call on security forces to do their best to ensure her safe return, and stand in solidarity with her family and colleagues,” said Gabriel Baglo, IFJ Africa director.

The IFJ raises concern about the personal security of journalists in this context of violence in some parts of the country.

On 26 April 2012, two suicide car bombers targeted offices of Nigerian newspaper This Day in Abuja and a Media house in Kaduna.

Arrests of journalists are also frequent. On 24 December 2012, journalists Musa Muhammad Awwal and Aliyu Saleh from weekly Al-Mizan, a Hausa-language newspaper, have been arrested and detained by the security forces without clear charges.

They were then released. The journalist Ikechukwu Udendu, editor of Anambra News a monthly newspaper, was shot dead on Saturday 12 January 2013 by unknown persons.

“We call on journalists to have personal safety protocol and ask authorities to bring to court all perpetrators of attacks against journalists,” Baglo added.

 

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Kenya: KCA Calls for Swift and thorough probe into journalist’s death

Posted by African Press International on April 3, 2013

  • BY DICKENS WASONGA.

Kenya Correspondents Association (KCA) is shocked by the sudden death of Star Newspaper Reporter Bernard Ochieng Wesonga, who was found dead in his house in the Coastal City of Mombasa on Sunday.

KCA calls on the police to swiftly investigate the death of the journalist and to bring those who may be culpable to death, given the suspicious circumstances of his death.

Wesonga’s body was reportedly discovered by his room –mate, Eric Onyango, with blood oozing from his nose and mouth in their Kachonjo Estate in Tudor in Mombasa around 10.am on Sunday.

Wesonga, a young journalist, was a committed member of KCA and has been one of 20 journalists currently under the association’s journalists’ mentorship project in the Coast Region on capacity building for investigative reporting.

It would be important for the police to investigate claims that he recently received threats in relation to a story he wrote on corruption.

Many journalists have recently faced threats, both related to the just conclude Elections and on corruption and it would be important that the investigations re-assure journalists of their safety and security.

 

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