Defending the Freedom of the Press


Freedom Café discussion reveals media under siege

The spotlight shone brightly on a single, compelling theme: the media's unparalleled role in fanning the flames of democracy and upholding of the rule of law.

On 25 November 2022, FNF Nairobi conducted a Freedom Café dedicated to journalists and editors working in Kenya. Amidst a charged atmosphere due to hotly contested presidential elections that had just taken place, FNF Nairobi welcomed media stakeholders to the fourth part of a riveting series of Freedom Cafés. The event embarked on a deep dive into the heart of democracy, where the media serves as both the compass and the anchor.

The agenda followed a twofold mission. First, the FNF set out to uncover the structural, sometimes hidden obstacles that stand as silent adversaries to the media's vital mission. Subsequently, a visionary map was unfurled that could lead to a brighter horizon – one where media professionals flourish within a nurturing and enabling ecosystem. Through the discussions, tales of both heroism and hardship emerged. Journalists in Kenya had become the unsung heroes of democracy, often paying a high price for their commitment. The 2022 elections and their tumultuous aftermath transformed them into punching bags for politicians, taking the brunt of blame for simply doing their job. Threats and physical attacks became disturbingly common, and the fear cast a shadow over their independence.

The discussions brought the harsh realities to light that journalists face, working in constant fear, and afraid to tell stories due to threats and attacks. This atmosphere of fear, if unchecked, allows injustices to persist, corruption to thrive, and impunity to reign. It is alarming. To amplify the message and extend the conversation, Judie Kaberia, Senior Program Manager for the FNF office in Kenya, wrote an article about the concerns that were raised.

Nevertheless, the Freedom Café was not a story of despair. It served in fact as a beacon of hope, a platform where the catalysts of change and resilience came together. Its impact stretched beyond the events of the day. Inspired by the rich insights and hopes voiced by the remarkable editors and journalists who participated in the Freedom Café. As a result, a policy paper was written entailing recommendations to reshape the media landscape in Kenya and beyond.

Ein Angebot der

Freedom of expression and the media

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