EASTERN AFRICA EDITORS FORUM Media Release #WPFD World Press Freedom Day 2020 Protecting Journalism Without Fear or Favour in Eastern Africa Nairobi, May 1, 2020

The Eastern Africa Editors Forum was revived in December 2019 during the 2nd Annual Editors Convention hosted by the Kenya Editors Guild in Mombasa County. The 2020 edition of the World Press Freedom Day presents EAEF a chance to engage all editors in the region, and media stakeholders, on the key issue on how to protect journalism.

The safety and security of journalists is key to the health, quality, credibility and survival of media and journalism in any state. While the State is often responsible for the security of its citizens and institutions, including the media and journalists and those working in the media sector, media organisations have a greater responsibility of ensuring their people, especially journalists, work in a secure and safe environment.

Safety and security in this context demand that journalists work in an environment free of physical or psychological threats, intimidation or harassment; that they are free to do their work in service to citizens; and that their needs – personal and professional including adequate compensation, insurance, protection against sexual harassment at work or online, etc. – are taken care of. The media, for example, need resources to ensure their journalists are properly resourced and facilitated, and that they work in a conducive environment. Journalists need protection from offline and online threats, including hacking. News sources must be adequately protected.

Journalists need to be safe from threats posed by various factors, including trauma. In short, both the state and media houses have the responsibility to ensure journalists are safe and secure at all times, both on and off duty. Journalists, being at the centre of delivering this critical service, are the first duty bearers.

Given the issues mentioned above, the Eastern Africa Editors Forum, with the support of UNESCO, will hold a virtual meeting, under the overarching theme for this year’s World Press Freedom Day –– Journalism Without Fear or Favour – to discuss the challenges facing the media and journalists in Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda with special focus on the safety and security of both the media and journalists. The meeting will be guided by the objectives below.

  1. Provide a platform for the examination of the independence of media in Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda as a necessary condition for the fulfillment of press freedom.
  2. Discuss the safety and security concerns of both the media and journalists in Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda.
  3. Make recommendations on how to strengthen media landscape in Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda.
  4. Make recommendations on how to enhance the safety and security of both the media and journalists in Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda

The discussion will be held virtually on Sunday, May 3rd, 2020 at 11am (East Africa Time). Journalists and media stakeholders interested in attending the virtual meeting are invited to register at: https://bit.ly/editorsforum

Daniel Kalinaki
Uganda Editors Guild

Deodatus Balile
Tanzania Editors Forum

Bruh Y. Mengistu
Vice Chairman
Ethiopia Editors Guild

Churchill Otieno
Kenya Editors Guild

About the Eastern Africa Editors Forum
The EAEF is the umbrella body bringing together editor organisations in Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. For more details and clarifications, please contact:

Rosalia Omungo
H12 Delamere Flats, Milimani Road, Nairobi
+254 20 2720554, +254 20 2724756
Email: info@ kenyaeditorsguild.org
Website: www.kenyaeditorsguild.org
Twitter: @KenyaEditors
This event is supported by UNESCO through the Addis Laision Office to AU and UNECA.