Insecurity, low remuneration and digital space invasion have been highlighted as the main challenges affecting the fundamental press freedom globally.

Journalists in Kilifi county are not exempted with these challenges hindering their profession.

As journalists all over the world celebrated the International Press Freedom day on Tuesday, journalists in Kilifi defied odds by pushing for their freedom in the rains.

The journalists held a peaceful walk in Kilifi town as it rained cuts and dogs in the region in a bid to fight for their deserving freedom.

They decried lack of security especially during this election period in the country.

Baya Kitsao, Kenya Correspondence Association (KCA) chairman in Kilifi County urged the government and security entities to cooperate with journalists in ensuring that security is provided to journalists on their line of duties.

“Insecurity among most of us journalists is the main challenge we are facing in our region. It is unfortunate that we are headed to the general elections but we still feel that our lives are threatened due to political differences”, Baya said.

Seconded by Florence Kaschana, journalist at SBS Radio in Kilifi, insecurity has contributed to fear and unprofessionalism among journalists.

Florence Kaschana, SBS Radio journalist addressing media on Tuesday during World Press Freedom celebrations In Kilifi Town Photo by Treeza Auma

Kaschana added that some news sources are not cooperative in providing journalists with information when needed.

She also urged the media owners to increase pay to journalists saying that the hiked cost of living is also affecting journalists.

David Ngumbao, a journalist and Media owner of one of the radio stations in Kilifi county urged his fellow journalists to be professional without being influenced by politicians in news coverage.

“If you do not stick to your ethics as a journalist, you not only risk your life and career but also risk destroying the world because you have the powers to build or demolish the world just by what you do”, Ngumbao said.

He regretted the digital space taking over the media profession not because of the growing dynamism but because of the unfiltered misinformation and unprofessionalism in the social cyber space forums.

Radio Rahma based journalist Ali Mwalimu appreciated the growing digital world but cautioned those using the social media to be careful about what they post.

He said the media industry risk, if not already, losing its value due to quacks who poise themselves in the digital space as journalists without considering the media ethics.

By Treeza Auma

Treeza Auma is a Digital Content Producer and founder of KTMN She is also Television journalist at Kenya News Agency and Leadership Accelerator at Women in News.

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