The Kenya Editors Guild has pointed an accusing finger at the government over the perpetual mass firings in the media industry.
The Guild, through its President, Churchill Otieno, stated that media companies are compelled to lay off employees to cope with the prevailing harsh economic conditions.
Otieno who spoke during the observation of the International Day to End Impunity against Journalists on Wednesday, November 2, argued that the government took away the ability of media entities to sustain their operations.
He attributed the financial crises facing media companies to various policies adopted by the government.
"Today we have policies that at face value look like they are good but they take away the ability of media to be sustainable. Take advertising for example," the KED President stated.
“Advertising had been growing in leaps and bounds, but turnover in news media has been dropping, so much that every December there are no Christmas celebrations but tears because of retrenchment."
The head of Kenya editors noted that the role of advertising had been assigned to advertising agencies, hence locking out media houses.
Further, the editors' guild accused the government of oppressing journalists who hold dissenting perspectives or hold the government into account in their line of duty.
While citing the recent murder of a Pakistani prominent journalist, Otieno turned persecution of journalists as a testament to impunity in Kenya's criminal justice system.
"The manifestation of impunity in Kenya must be noted. Every single gathering in the globe for this day will discuss the shooting of Arshad Sharif," he noted.
Information, Communications and Technology- ICT Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo, who was also in attendance, reiterated President William Ruto's commitment to upholding the freedom of the press.
Owalo affirmed that the current administration would work towards correcting the errs of the previous regimes.
"We are saddened whenever a journalist is harmed or loses his or her life in the line of duty. It is particularly sad that in recent events, duty-bearers are the ones perpetrating these acts," Owalo stated.
He added: "It is expected that in some instances government and media will hold different opinions. But this should not result in conflict."
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