Journalists, like many other Kenyans, were hit hard by the far-reaching effects of the Covid-19 p******c following the o******k in 2020. The industry witnessed down-sizing exercises and wage cuts at leading TV, radio, print and digital media outlets on the back of dwindling advertising revenues.
A new survey from Infotrak commissioned by Africa Uncensored offers interesting insights into how the p******c impacted journalists in Kenya and how they were able to cope. Interviews and mail surveys were undertaken with over 500 respondents being journalists drawn from 8 regions across the country.
4 out of 5 surveyed journalists stated that they had been impacted on a personal level by the p******c.
58% revealed that they had been affected by salary reductions, while 46% were affected by mental anxiety and 33% had their job security affected. 19% were unable to repay loans, 14% faced Covid-19 infection and 6% were retrenched.
The data paints a bleak picture of a dire situation that many Kenyan journalists found themselves in. Many, however, were able to weather the storm by taking up side hustles.
40% of respondents noted that they started taking on side gigs as a way of coping, the most common measure taken, while 7% started a business. 19% cited getting support from family and friends, 12% began applying for other jobs and opportunities, 11% took loans and 7% were employed by other media houses while 4% of respondents stated that they did nothing.
The top side-hustles that journalists who faced salary reductions and retrenchment ventured into include: