Ms Sharon Kechula, Mr Eric Oduor, Ms Christine Nkonge, Mr Alexander Makarigakis, Mr David Omwoyo, Pro Edward Kisiangani, Mr John Kiarie and Ms Ruth Nesoba during the World Press Freedom Day 2024_
Written by K.U.J

Journalists in Kenya: A Legal Guide to Confront Challenges

Kenyan journalists face significant challenges despite constitutional protections envisaged under Articles 33 & 34 of the 2010 Constitution and international safeguards like Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

These include:

  • Targeted attacks: Threats, harassment, and lawsuits silence critical voices.
  • Limited access to information: Difficulty obtaining information hinders investigative journalism.
  • Misinformation: The spread of false information undermines public trust.
  • Shifting work environment: New communication technologies raise questions about intellectual property rights.
  • Gender-based violence: Female journalists face additional harassment and violence.

In response, the Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ), with support from UNESCO under the Global Media Defence Fund, project developed a practical guide: “Defending Journalists: A Guide for Legal Protection of Journalists.”

This guide empowers journalists with knowledge of their legal rights and remedies, addressing common challenges like:

  • Defamation lawsuits
  • Difficulty accessing information
  • Labor rights violations
  • Online violence, particularly against female journalists

The guide also explores enforcing these rights through state institutions and judicial channels. It incorporates feedback from journalists to recommend legal reforms for better protection.



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