As Kenya gears to the general elections slated for March 2013, the media industry is facing a major and serious crisis that must be addressed now.
There is a sudden influx of masquerading journalists who have invaded the industry and are tainting the name of the sector at large. The gang, which is about 20, is operating with impunity raiding public events in the capital Nairobi whereby they demand money with menace impersonating to be real journalists.
Others are also reported to be operating with impunity in other two Cities of Mombasa,Kisumu and other big towns ``terrorizing`` businessmen,clergy,school heads and politicians.
Some have in the past few days been spotted physically fighting over cash given out by innocent politicians and businessmen and women.
The gang usually operate with impunity demanding money while pretending they will offer coverage.
“We are aware of the issue and know it is a problem that must be dealt with or else we face an identity and image crisis. They demand money from innocent politician and business people. The media must confront the gang,” said one journalist who said his name had been used on several occasions to obtain money falsely.
The masqueraders usually flock to events organized by COTU, KNUT, City Hall, Co-Operative Bank,Kuppet,political parties, politicians, mobile phone operators and major beer and beverage making companies.
Some use names of real journalists to demand the money they want to enable them allegedly publish the stories. The mainstream media doesn’t demand or need cash to publish a given story.
They even lack Journalistic ethics of operation as one was spotted on Monday, September 10 at a book launch presided over by Education Minister Mr.Mutula Kilonzo where he attempted to seat on the Minister`s chair as he went to address until he was prevented from sitting on it by the Chairperson of the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) Ms. Atsango Chesoni.
The editor of this publication demands that the mainstream media takes action to address the menace or else the name of the industry at large will remain tainted.
We are compiling the names and pictures of all masqueraders and intend to publish them soon. Stay logged…….