Media Council warns the Star over Tana River death photo
12 January 2012
For Immediate Release
Adherence to Journalism Ethics: Intrusion into Grief
The Media Council of Kenya expresses our displeasure with the blatant contravention of the Media Act Cap 411B and in particular the Code of Conduct for the Practice of Journalism by the Star.
The newspaper’s lead photo in the 11th January 2013 edition was grossly insensitive, unprofessional and an open disregard for journalistic ethics and human rights.
The use of the photo breached a number of articles in the Code and specifically:
a) Use of Pictures and Names: The code states that:“as a general rule the media should apply caution in the use of’ pictures and names and should avoid publication when there is a possibility of’ harming the persons concerned……Pictures of’ grief, disaster and those that embarrass and promote sexism should be discouraged”
b) Intrusion into Grief and Shock: The Code states that:“In cases involving personal grief or shock, inquiries should be made with sensitivity and discretion.”
c) Obscenity, Taste and Tone of Reporting: Part (b) states that:”…publication of’ photographs showing mutilated bodies, bloody incidents and abhorrent scenes should be avoided unless the publication or broadcast of such photographs will serve the public interest”.
The use of the photograph is reckless and is most likely to aggravate emotions especially in the volatile Tana Delta and other parts of the country
While we note that the issues of national security are of concern, we wish to remind the media to embrace responsible journalism during this electioneering period.
It is also important for the media to adhere to professional standards as set out in the Code of Conduct.
The matter has been taken up by the Complaints Commission of the Media Council of Kenya.
Chief Executive Officer & Secretary to the Council