Safety and Protection of Journalists

Under the Enhancing and Up-scaling Media Safety and Journalistic Professionalism in Kenya project, MCK with support from the IMS  responds to the  needs for mechanism and capacities related to ensuring the safety and protection of media practitioners in Kenya.

The project has several components, including the establishment of safety and protection mechanisms (Protocols), safety fund, trauma counseling, training on safety, and promoting dialogue between media and security- institutions.

The MCK runs a web based alert system for journalists in distress and carries out a rapid response operation for journalists based in Kenya. (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and 0702 222111). The web system is available at  mediacouncil.or.ke/alerts

Other activities include regular forums with media managers, media owners and editors on matters safety for journalists.

                                        

 

Launch of the Journalists' Safety and Protection Protocol

The Media Council of Kenya is part of a "media working group" that has been developing a safety and protection protocol and manual for journalists in Kenya over the last six months. The project was funded by the Kenya Media Programme, which is a programme of the Dutch humanist organisation, HIVOS. The project was premised on the increasing cases of harassment and threats to journalists across the country which made them vulnerable while in the course of their duty while at the same time noting that most of media houses in Kenya do not have safety and protection measures for their staff.

The the idea to undertake the project was arrived at after a national baseline survey for the protection of journalists that was conducted by stakeholders led the Media Council of Kenya in 2013. The manual has been prepared to respond to the needs of the media and society.

The safety manual is being offered as a living document, to be adjusted and updated to respond to the inevitable changes in our society. The project is divided into two parts. The first is a national Protocol, which sets the framework for the safety guide. Alongside the Protocol is what is considered a critical corollary, a 10-point Charter for Media Owners and Managers, which commits them to a number of obligations intended to make the journalists’ environment safer than it is currently. It is hoped that as many of them as care for the safety of their human capital will sign the charter and thereby give this whole project some practical meaning. The second, and larger part, is taken up by a discussion of practical and tested guidelines that journalists can and should adopt to secure their safety.

The Media Council of Kenya is a key member of the working group owing to its place as the body mandated with ensuring the protection of the rights and privileges of journalists in the performance of their duties.

Under the Enhancing and Up-scaling Media Safety and Journalistic Professionalism in Kenya project, the Media Council of Kenya with support from International Media Support [IMS] responds to the needs for mechanism and capacities related to ensuring the safety and protection of media practitioners in Kenya.

Under the project, a number of journalists have been trained on safety and security as well as trauma counselling following the Westgate Mall terrorist attacks, Lamu and Tana River ethnic clashes among other safety areas. The Council also runs a modest safety fund for journalists in distress, counselling of traumatised journalists as well as developing of a safety strategy for journalists among other initiatives.

The safety protocol was launched on Monday, 18 August 2014 at Serena Hotel on at 8am.

 

Read the Safety Protocol and Manual for journalists.

Click here to download the handbook on International Best Practices On Safety And Protection Measures For Journalists Deployed In Hostile Areas.