In Kenya, greater collaboration amongst Journalists networks is desirable because it is a pathway for an independent media industry.
This is because of the dynamism it has found itself in, there is a perception that it is eroding professionalism and undermining the scope for objective reporting. This coupled with a regulated environment, poses a real threat to the operation and survival of journalists.
In line with the Kenya Union of Journalist’s mission to secure, promote and protect the welfare, interests, and rights of all journalists, we saw it necessary to initiate a process of building a network of journalists within the regions to secure the future of the media profession.
The regional networks, popularly known as KUJ Chapters, have attracted outstanding memberships in Coast Counties – Mombasa, Kilifi, and Tana River, Nakuru, Kisumu, Kisii, Meru, Kakamega, Uasin Gishu and Kitui counties.
KUJ Nakuru chapter was the first one in the country to be established. Together, they have created a pool of over 400 journalists.
Mr. Erick Oduor, the KUJ Secretary-General, through the chapters, journalists are able to address their grievances at the grass-root level. It would also mean that together, through a strong network of journalists in the country, we can become the voice that is required to drive change for a free and independent media landscape.
Through comprehensive and consultations with the chapter’s local leadership, KUJ will build the capacity of journalists through the creation of resource centers and help journalists in getting opportunities that emerge through organized groups.
KUJ intends to use the chapters in conducting a mapping of the organized groups and establish a database of all journalists operating within various regions which in the long run will actualize the establishment of a legal aid fund for journalists and the development of a framework agreement with employers in the media industry for KUJ to cover all the workers irrespective of their form of employment.