The Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ) has challenged members of the fourth estate to remain professional and objective, especially ahead of the upcoming August 9 general election.
KUJ Secretary General Eric Oduor says journalists have a key role to play during this electioneering period hence the need for them to be and remain impartial.
Speaking on the sidelines of a Safety and Security training for Journalists in Eldoret town, Oduor also reminded journalists that they are not politicians.
They, he said, however, have a role in educating and informing members of the public.
“Journalists should know that they are not politicians. They have a responsibility to ensure the public is well informed about processes and what’s going on to be able to make an informed choice,” said the KUJ Secretary-General.
He pointed out that, should journalists fail in their mandate to enable Kenyans to make the right choices of leaders, it is everybody that will suffer – including themselves.
“Remain as professional and objective as possible,” Oduor challenged Journalists.
He further revealed that they are conducting training for journalists across the country, to equip them with skills that will ensure they remain safe, even as they cover campaigns and the August 9 poll.
“The journalists are likely to find themselves operating in hostile environment and riots, and the training is meant to ensure they are well prepared and know what to do to remain safe should such scenarios happen,” said the KUJ boss.
“We also not that there are some journalists covering elections for the first time and may not be able to know how best to go about it. We hope to also prepare them adequately,” he added.
Oduor also affirmed KUJ’s commitment to protecting and promoting the rights of journalists.
“We usually advocate for a safe and conducive working environment for our members. We will continue working with journalists even after the general election,” he said.
KUJ is an organization seeking to improve the working conditions of journalists in Kenya.
It also protects and promotes media freedom, professionalism, and ethical standards in the media industry.
KUJ is affiliated with the Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).