Kenya: Govt. agency protests to New York Times for publishing 'gory images' after terror attack; company responds

Media Council of Kenya (MCK) has written to the New York Times Bureau Chief in Nairobi demanding an apology on the publication’s usage of images of those who died during a terrorist attack in Nairobi. In response, the New York Times declined to apologise and justified the use of graphic images in its coverage. 

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Article
21 January 2019

Kenya Media Council demands New York Times to pull down graphic images of victims of terror attack

Author: Protus Onyango, Standard Digital (Kenya)

"Media Council writes to New York Times, demands action on published terror images"

Media Council of Kenya (MCK) has written to the New York Times Bureau Chief in Nairobi demanding an apology on the publication’s usage of images of those who died at Dusit attack. “MCK demands that your publication pulls down the insensitive pictures within 24 hours and makes an unconditional apology on the matter. We believe this will be a step in regaining confidence in regard to the professionalism of your articles,” David Omwoyo, MCK’s Chief Executive Officer said in the letter. He said though MCK reaffirms its commitment to press freedom, access to information and rule of law, all journalists working in Kenya must respect the rules on responsible journalism.

 “Take note, in the event the pictures are not pulled down, within 24 hours as requested, MCK will initiate relevant action against your publication, not limited to revocation or suspension of accreditation of journalists working for New York Times in Kenya. You are hereby required to inform the council of your action within 48 hours and not later than January 21, 2019,” Omwoyo said.

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Article
21 January 2019

New York Times on why they used 'disturbing' images after terror attack

Author: New York Times

"Why The Times Published a Disturbing Photo of Dead Bodies After an Attack in Nairobi"

A photo published by The Times on Tuesday, showing some of the dead victims of an attack in Nairobi, Kenya, led to a swift backlash among some of our readers. Many readers thought it was inappropriate to include an image of bloody bodies slumped over tables in our article about the assault, which was committed by the Islamic extremist group Shabab. Readers, including many Kenyans, also questioned whether The Times would publish similarly horrific photos after an attack in the United States or elsewhere in the West...

...it is an important part of our role as journalists to document the impact of violence in the world, and if we avoid publishing these types of images, we contribute to obscuring the effects of violence and making debates over security and terrorism bloodless. We believe that our coverage contributes to national and global discussions on national security, foreign policy, America’s role in international conflicts, gun violence and terror. If we shy away from showing the real consequences of some of these policies, then we are doing our readers, and even those who make some of these policy decisions, a disservice.

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