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Editors launch annual lecture in honor of veteran journalist

The Kenya Editors Guild (KEG) will hold an annual memorial lecture every second Friday of May in honor of veteran journalist Philip Ochieng, who died last week aged 83.

The Philip Ochieng’ Lecture Series on Journalism be held annually starting next year to remember the life and times of the legendary journalist who remains unmatched for his mastery of the English language.

Scribes who attended the launch further challenged the Media Council of Kenya to initiate an annual journalism award in honor of Ochieng who had cut a reader’s “niche”.

KEG President Churchill Otieno while launching the initiative in Nairobi noted that it is in honor of Philip Ochieng and for the development of journalism in the country.

Otieno further stated that the Editors body will leverage the platform to promote excellence in ethical media and journalism that Philip Ochieng stood for all his years as a journalist.

The session at a hotel in Nairobi and attended virtual as well  brought together Ochieng’s  professional colleagues, senior Editors from various media houses, scholars and veterans in the industry, some of whom took part virtually.

In attendance was Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) Managing Director Dr. Naim Bilal who worked with Ochieng in one of the local media stations, and described him as a “man who influenced journalism and politics in a very significant way.

“We honor and celebrate this great man today,” eulogized Bilal.

Capitals FM’s Editorial Director Bernard Momanyi chose to focus on Ochieng’s mentorship capability, saying that many journalists sharpened their skills as a result of his writing.

Joe Ageyo of the Royal Media Services (RMS) described Ochieng as an enigmatic and mystical figure that most journalists heard of when they joined newsrooms.

“Philip was both intellectual and journalistic. You would not read his columns and be the same,” said Ageyo.

“From his pen came thoughtful, deep and purposeful works not only served in the finesse of English language, anchored in history and literature but also spiced with ideology and conviction,” Standard Media Group Editor-In-Chief Ochieng Rapuro.

The veteran scribe died in a Migori hospital two weeks ago, having practiced journalism for over five decades.

He will be laid to rest on Friday, May 14, 2021 at his rural home in Awendo, Migori County

By Alice Gworo

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