Governments across the globe have Freedom of the Media outlined in their constitutions. In Kenya, Article 34 of the constitution guarantees freedom and independence of electronic, print and all other types of media. However, media freedom around the world is at an all time low in the last decade.
Globally, every year on 3rd May, we celebrate the fundamental principles of freedom of press, to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.
The day acts as a reminder to governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom as outlined of many constitutions. It is also a day of reflection among media professionals about issues of press freedom and professional ethics.
The High Commission of Canada to Kenya and the Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE) will partner on an event to celebrate World Press Freedom Day 2018 in Kenya with a focus on online journalists (bloggers and influencers).
In 2018, the global theme is ‘Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice and The Rule of Law’, and will cover issues of media and the transparency of the political process, the independence and media literacy of the judicial system, and the accountability of state institutions towards the public. The day will also examine contemporary challenges of ensuring press freedom online.
The session will be a moderated panel and will discuss topics around this year’s theme. It will also include a short speech by a representative from the Canadian Embassy.
We will have 2 expert panels to discuss 6 topics (3 topics per panel). The experts are lawyers, media rights advocates, freedom of expression advocates, and online journalists.
The topics to be discussed by the panel are:
- Sexual and gender-based harassment in media
- Challenges of covering elections and electoral campaigns in Kenya
- Promoting safety of online journalists and countering threats against them
- Political threats to media and freedom of expression
- The role of the judiciary in enhancing freedom of expression in Kenya
- Fake news and new threats to journalism
On the panel will be:
- George Githinji – Blogger at epickenyan.com
- Mwende Ngao – Blogger at mwendengao.com & zedamagazine.com
- Patrick Gathara – Award winning blogger at gathara.blogspot.com, Cartoonist and Curator, theelephant.info
- Mugambi Laibuta – Advocate of the High Court of Kenya
- Mercy Mutemi – Advocate of the High Court of Kenya
- Demas Kiprono – Advocate of the High Court of Kenya
- Kennedy Kachwanya – Chairman at Bloggers Association of Kenya
Date: 3rd May, 2018
Time: 8:00AM – 12:30PM
Place: 4th Floor Nailab, Bishop Magua Centre, George Padmore Lane, Opposite Uchumi.