Building on the positive relationship between the International Committee Red Cross (ICRC) and Kenya Red Cross society (KRCS), the multidisciplinary teams of ICRC and KRCS convened a sensitization for discussion on its mandate as well as reporting humanitarian and conflict emergencies. The media has lots of grounds to cover in reportage of conflict and humanitarian stories.
A theme running through the meeting was the changing context of humanitarian work. Humanitarian and conflict crises are becoming more prevalent and diverse and the media plays a critical role in defining the response to these crises.
Regional Manager-North Rift, Esther Chege said, “The KRC is a leading humanitarian organisation sustainably promoting the wellbeing, health and resilience of communities.”
“The organisation embraces the integration approach to ensure we employ practical and innovative solutions that are dynamically adapted to changing and evolving humanitarian and development needs,” she said.
She added, “The training and dissemination session on humanitarian issues will enable journalists to gain more knowledge so as to deliver news which is accurate and impartial.
“Reporters need to understand more about what causes conflict, and how conflicts develop and end. By providing this information, journalists make the public far more well-informed about the accurate information on the conflict,” he said.
Anne Mucheke, representative from ICRC, further added that,” justifying the need for conflict-sensitive reporting in conflict situations, the role of the media is critical in providing the public with full, reliable and non-partisan information to manage the conflict and make intelligent decisions.”
“Conflict sensitive journalism empowers reporters to report conflicts professionally without feeding the flames. It enables journalists to report conflicts and humanitarian issues in depth, to cover all sides and ventilate issues related to the conflicts,” she said.
Kenya Red Cross Communications and PR manager, Peter Abwao said that,” Authorities in KRC have committed a range of abuses against journalists reporting on sensitive issues threatening humanity. We must stem the tide of increased violence and impunity against journalists.
We have a hotline for journalists where they can report on any aggressions against them so they can be able to protect at risk journalists with thorough and timely prosecutions of all crimes committed against them.”
He concluded that these trainings will equip the media with skills to report stories that highlight the humanitarian and conflict emergencies and solutions-focused approaches to solving problems faced by the communities.
By Judy Too