The Kenya Union of Journalists today took the issue of poor remuneration of correspondents to the government’s doorstep, appealing for a policy to guide operations of media houses which would amount to more regulation of the industry.
Secretary General Kenya Union of Journalists Eric Odour called on the government to address the low wages issue for correspondents. He said a proper policy would address both the hiring, sacking and payment journalists by media houses.
He said during the Press Freedom Day celebration that the media industry in the country is currently not supported by any policy, which has hindered opportunities for proper collaboration between employers and employees in the industry.
Correspondents are usually paid poorly and often not supported by their employers in their work. Media companies have lately been firing journalists, especially correspondents who lack stable contracts to protect their jobs.
Press Freedom Day is a special occasion where members of the Fourth Estate defend the independence of the media, pay tribute to gallant journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty, evaluate press freedom in their countries and across the globe, as well as award journalists for excellence performance.
On journalists’ salaries and safety, the ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru urged media houses to consider offering their staff protection, adequate working tools and attractive remuneration as a motivation and compensation for their good work.
He also cited lack of information infrastructure, skills and literacy to access and critically evaluate information as some of the challenges undermining media freedom and performance.
Speaking at the event, Kenya Editors’ Guild Chairman Linus Kaikai said the media fraternity in Kenya would continue to offer public interest service and hold to account those holding leadership positions.
“I urge newsrooms to tighten gate keeping processes and place high value on sound editorial judgment to protect the credibility of journalism in this era of fake news,” added Mr Kaikai.