FAJ Commends KUJ for Repositioning as Journalists and Press Freedom Defender

The Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) today commended the Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ) on the tremendous efforts that it has made to reposition itself as the voice of Kenyan journalists and defender of press freedom in Kenya.<u1:p></u1:p>


Speaking during a ceremony unveiling the rebranded KUJ, on Tuesday 15 July in Nairobi, KUJ Chairman, Oscar Obonyo, assured members that the union had addressed its internal challenges and will not disappoint them, while calling for greater collaboration between journalists and media owners.<u1:p></u1:p>


FAJ President, Mohamed Garba said that issues concerning the freedom of the press and the freedom of expression in general are too important to be left in the hand of the media owners alone.  “Journalists unions must always strive to defend the rights and interest of their members, by ensuring that they engage management and media owners on workers’ welfare and improved conditions of service, through the signing of collective agreement”.<u1:p></u1:p>


According to a statement issued by the KUJ, Standard Group Limited’s Managing Director of Print Operations, Francis Munywoki and Nation Media Group’s acting Editorial Director, Tom Mshindi, asked players in the media industry to pull in one direction to address professional challenges in the industry.  Tom Mshindi further stated, “It is critical that KUJ goes beyond addressing bread and butter issues, important as they are, and address emerging challenges to journalists in this digital era.”<u1:p></u1:p>


The Secretary General of the Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) Kenya, Francis Atwoli  in his statement asked the union to work closely with the Media Owners Association to defend the industry from undue State interference. He said that it is in the interest of the KUJ and media owners to work closely together in order to fight corruption in the country.<u1:p></u1:p>


KUJ Deputy Secretary General Erick Oduor, outlined a plan that the union will execute to address internal challenges that have afflicted the union over the past ten years. Mr Oduor said the union will use its website to get views of its members and also to conduct online discussions on issues affecting the industry. He said the rebranding paves the way for the development of a strategic plan to guide the union’s activities over the next five years.<u1:p></u1:p>


The KUJ for the past three years has been establishing its structures, which includes the establishment of a secretariat to ensure there is continuity even after election.. The rebranding also came with a new website (www.kenyaunionofjournalists.org) that will serve as a platform to link the union, its officials, members, organisations it is affiliated to, partners and potential media organisations.<u1:p></u1:p>


For more information, please contact FAJ Secretariat: +221 33 867 95 86/87<u1:p></u1:p>FAJ represents more than 50.000 journalists in 40 countries in Africa<u1:p></u1:p>