Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi has admitted he was worried about the plight of Citizen TV investigative reporter Purity Mwambia and other investigative journalists.
Speaking during the World Press Freedom Day Celebration held by the Media Council of Kenya (MCK), Muturi agreed that the report was incisive but decried that media houses were doing little to compensate journalists for their sacrifices.
"I recently watched Purity Mwambia's incisive documentary on Citizen and I was both shocked and worried for her for the risks involved and also the courage to go for the story. But in the end, how much do these people take home?" Stated Muturi.An undated file image of Citizen TV investigative journalist Purity Mwambia.File
In his speech, the speaker further revealed that corruption had infiltrated both the media as a profession and Parliament.
He noted that the vice had been enabled by media owners below par payment of their staff members, including individuals who pursue dangerous investigative stories.
"We must also be candid with each other. The monster of corruption continues to affect all our public and even private institutions.
"We continue to fix the loopholes to strengthen the integrity of our legislative processes. However, time has come for us to address corruption in the media. Not just journalists who take bribes to look the other way but also the quid pro quo between media enterprises and government institutions," added Muturi.
To make his point, the politician referenced an example in which a reporter was sent to his home county to unearth a corrupt dealing in a health facility.
He noted that the journalist was not provided with any transport allowance or facilitation fee but the media house still expected him to maintain journalistic integrity.
"Let us be serious and honest with ourselves. Pay these reporters well and then demand integrity. Media houses need to adjust to modern business models.
"Employ and keep top reporters and overall be able to keep the public well informed as their watchdog," he advised.
Mwambia attracted the attention of the nation in her chilling Guns Galore exposé in which her crew revealed how police officers aided crime syndicates by leasing out their weapons and uniforms to thugs.
This elicited mixed reactions from Kenyans online as some lauded the reporter for her brave and yet heroic reporting. Others, however, criticised Mwambia for implicating certain police officers in the alleged criminal activities.
Below is the video of Muturi's speech:
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