World press freedom day marked with calls to better media working environment

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BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,3RD MAY,2021-National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has challenged media owners in Kenya to ensure that their reports and the news crew are paid well for their work.

Speaking at the Serena Hotel in Nairobi on Monday during the commemoration of World Press Freedom Day, Muturi said that journalists deserve good pay following the kind of work they are doing including risking their lives.

“For this conversation to make sense, today is my day to ask the media owners in this country to pay our children – their reporters and news crew very well. They deserve it,” Muturi said.

“Today is my day to ask media owners to pay our children, reporters and correspondents very well; pay them well first and then demand integrity, otherwise we risk making them captives of government and news sources.”

He added that “I recently watched Purity Mwambia’s incisive documentary on Citizen TV and I was both shocked and worried for her. The risks involved, but also for the courage to go for the story. But in the end, how much do these people take home?”

The speaker said that free and independent media, spreading accurate and factual information is the cornerstone of a vibrant democracy and national development.

He added that the National Assembly has adopted and continues to strive to ensure that journalists have access to useful and important information from most committee sittings, including videos, audio, minutes of the meetings, and reports at this time of Covid-19.

Muturi has urged journalists and editors to use all the legal and ethical means to obtain information held by the government and about the government.

“I know some of the journalists and editors do not have great things to say about the institution of Parliament. But I believe that this is due to a lack of information about what we have done to make access to public legislative information efficient. I will mention a few things,” Muturi said.

He also said that training on media law, standards, ethics, integrity, media literacy, and even the craft of journalism has been helpful in professionalising the media industry in Kenya.

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