The African Media Initiative continues to actively promote the safety of journalists on the continent and their right to freedom of expression and access to information. In this regard, AMI has partnered with the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to launch a Journalist Safety Indicators research in Kenya.
The research, which is being carried out by AMI, seeks to identify the measures media stakeholders are taking to promote journalists’ safety and to fight impunity at the national level. Key stakeholders include the United Nations Organization, State and political actors, civil society organizations, journalism training schools, and media organizations and their cluster of supporters. The AMI research team will submit the findings of the research to UNESCO later this year.
The project was launched at a workshop held on 22nd May 2015 at UNESCO’s Nairobi office. It was attended by key media stakeholders in Kenya, including representatives from the Association of Media Women in Kenya (AMWIK), Kenya Media Programme, the Kenya Media Policy Research Center, the Ministry of Information and Communications, as well as other local media organizations.
AMI Senior Advisor Wangethi Mwangi said at the launch: “This research will build on work already done by a number of other organizations and we are positive that it will enable us to generate additional strategies to ensure journalists work in a safe environment.”
UNESCO’s expert for the Journalists’ Safety Indicators, Ms. Reeta Pöyhtäri, noted that freedom of expression is a fundamental element of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and therefore it underpins other democratic freedoms such as the right to form political parties, the right to share political ideas, the right to scrutinize the actions of public officials.
The safety indicators were developed within the context of the endorsement of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity. The purpose of the indicators is to pinpoint significant matters that show, or impact upon the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity. They allow for a mapping of key features that can help assess the extent to which journalists are able to carry out their work under safe conditions, and determine whether adequate follow-up is given to crimes committed against them.