Kenya: Academic Curricula and Trainings in Journalism and Safety

Various national and international human rights organizations are consistent in saying that attacks and threats directed at journalists and communicators, alongside a climate of impunity, create obstacles to their ability to facilitate and uphold the right to information for citizens . In Kenya some of these organisations and platforms include, Article 19 East Africa Office, UNESCO, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the Media Council of Kenya (MCK), the Kenya Media Programme (KMP), Association of Media Women in Kenya (AMWIK) and Rory Peck Trust, among others.

Journalists’ safety and protection is a function of different players. Media houses have a responsibility to protect their staff. Governments too must fulfil their responsibility by providing a safe working environment for journalists. It is important for journalists to understand the hazards and threats that they may face. Schools of journalism have a significant role to play in informing such understanding. Universities and journalism education institutions should, therefore, include journalism safety in their curricula. A properly functioning curriculum should contain at least one module that is devoted to the subject. This is also proposed in the UNESCO curriculum.. he recent years have seen the rise of digital technology, which in turn has changed journalistic practice. Digital journalism has resulted in a rise in the deaths of and threats against journalists. A total of 37 out of 276 killings of journalists highlighted by UNESCO are of those who practice online.. Security concerns of journalists’ operating online have become as important as those of offline practitioners. Similar to conventional journalists, online journalists are confronted with operational security concerns. That being the case, however, most digital journalists have received little or no training on ways to ensure their safety.

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