New York Times has not learnt from the experiences of CNN and Fox on the importance of sensitive reporting/broadcasting outside your borders and instead went ahead and published disturbing images of victims of the Riverside Attack on Tuesday.
But if you thought that was insensitive, the response of the media house was even more appalling, terming the decision to splash the images of victims on their story Shabab Claim Responsibility for Deadly Assault on Nairobi Hotel-Office Complex as ‘standard editorial procedure’.
And as expected there was massive backlash from Kenyans on Twitter (KOT) who expressed their disgust at the publisher’s insensitive journalism.
Kenyans on twitter immediately called for the deportation of the writer of the article, incoming East Africa Bureau Chief Kimiko de Freytas Tamura.
— Eng Anthony (@ItsEng_Anthony) January 16, 2019
In her defence, Kimiko whose twitter bio reads ‘citizen of nowhere’ claimed that she has no authoritative control over the photos that the media house embeds in a story and instead asked Kenyans to direct their anger to the publisher’s photo department.
That was the straw that broke the camel’s back, Kenyans were furious, livid and incensed but their anger reached damning levels at New York Times’ official response at the outrage.
We have heard from some readers upset with our publishing a photo showing victims after a brutal attack in Nairobi. We understand how painful this coverage can be, and we try to be very sensitive in how we handle both words and images in these situations. https://t.co/Qjm0qBMaF3 pic.twitter.com/1sqgTnnVKW
— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 15, 2019
But the publisher’s explanation is insincere. During its coverage of terror attacks in the United States, New York Times has never glorified acts of terror in any way. Below are screenshots of how NYT covered terror attacks in developed countries.
— e d (@e1313k) January 16, 2019
Earlier its was alleged that the New York Times Photo twitter account had been suspended but Business Today has established that is not true as the account is still up and running.
New York Times reporting is reminiscent of an insensitive news ID broadcasted by CNN in July 2015 ahead of then President Barrack Obama’s first visit to the country which described Kenya as a “Hotbed of Terror”.
However CNN ate humble pie for the insensitive label as CNN’s global Executive Vice President and Managing Director Tony Maddox, who oversees CNN’s global editorial policy, flew all the way from Atlanta to Nairobi to personally apologize to President Uhuru Kenyatta and Kenyans for the slur.
Fox (the entertainment wing of Fox News) producers Evan Katz and Manny Coto on February 23, 2017 apologised to Kenyans after using actual footage from the Westgate Mall Attack in Episode 4 of spy thriller 24 legacy.
“In episode 4 of 24 Legacy we regretfully included news footage of an attack in Nairobi. It will be removed from all future broadcasts and versions of the show. We apologize for any pain caused to the victims and their families and are deeply sorry.” said the veteran producers in a statement.