World Press Freedom Day: KCA Calls for Protection of Journalists from Digital Surveillance

The Kenya Correspondents Association (KCA) has called for greater awareness and protection of journalists from digital surveillance and other forms of threats to their safety and security in their work, especially ahead of the General Election due on August 9, 2022.

In a press release during the marking of the World Press Freedom Day, KCA also urged media stakeholders, government agencies, political and other actors within the electoral environment to commit to promoting press freedom and creating a facilitative environment for journalists to offer effective and fair coverage of the electioneering process and the actual elections.

While we urge journalists to demonstrate courage, renewed commitment, and ethical conduct in their work, we wish to emphasize that media managers and owners have a duty to offer journalists and other media workers the needed support, including improved remuneration, especially to the correspondents who work in difficult environments that expose them to various vulnerabilities,” added William Oloo Janak, the KCA chairman in a statement.

KCA chairman William Oloo Janak

We also call on media stakeholders to cultivate greater solidarity ahead of the elections through consultation and consensus on policy, legislative and regulatory issues within the industry,” noted Janak.

He further challenged media regulatory bodies to exercise their mandate more judiciously within the challenging and sensitive electoral environment pointing out that any overzealous approach on their part may easily undermine press freedom.

World Press Freedom Day is marked every year on May 3 following a proclamation by the UN General Assembly in 1993 arising from a recommendation adopted at the twenty-sixth session of UNESCO’s General Conference in 1991 in Windhoek, Namibia.

The day is set aside to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom, evaluate press freedom around the world, defend the media from attacks on their independence, and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.

The global event is being hosted on 2-5 May 2022 by UNESCO and the Republic of Uruguay in Punta Del Este, Uruguay.

The Conference will address the digital era’s impact on freedom of expression, the safety of journalists, access to information, and privacy and will develop concrete recommendations to address these challenges.  The theme of the event is ‘Journalism Under Digital Siege‘.

Journalists during a past World Press Freedom Day Celebration

World Press Freedom Day 2022 will reunite relevant stakeholders such as policymakers, journalists, media representatives, activists, cybersecurity managers, and legal experts to explore these issues and develop concrete solutions to address the threats posed by increased surveillance to press freedom and privacy,” says UNESCO, in a brief on the global event.

Here in Kenya, KCA, through its regional networks and other county-based journalists’ associations will mark the event in more than 20 locations/counties through various activities.

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