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New York Times Journalist Kimiko de Freytas Appointment To Work In Kenya Revoked

Kimiko de Freytas. [IMAGE/ COURTESY]

New York Times foreign correspondent Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura’s appointment to work in Kenya has been revoked.

Before being appointed to be the East Africa Bureau Chief for the New York Times, Tamura worked as a correspondent based in London for the American paper.

She came under heavy criticism from Kenyans who wanted her barred from working in Kenya for publishing images of dead bodies of the January Dusit D2 attack in Nairobi.

Different images of bodies at the scene of the attack from Getty Images and The Associated Press were used in an article done by Tamura.

Netizens were not pleased as it was out of taste for the New York Times to publish photos of bodies from Dusit, and immediately started a campaign on social media to have her appointment revoked.

Ms Tamura was reluctant to apologise despite several demands by Kenyans for an apology, and instead defended herself saying that she does not have the rights to choose the photos as she is just a writer and a reporter.

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The photos resulted to suspension of the New York Times Twitter account.

In a statement, the New York Times said that it will set up a team to review the policy on publication of graphic images.

This is after the Media Council of Kenya demanded that the photos be pulled down, or else legal action would be taken against the paper and the journalist. The paper did not comply, but instead sought to justify the use of the photos.

“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,” MCK’s Chief Executive Officer David Omwoyo wrote.

New York Times director of photography Meaghan Looram said, “…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.”

This could have rubbed the government the wrong way, which had requested the media and the general public not to share gory images of the attack, as this would equal to justifying and glorifying actions of the terrorists.

The government could have instigated her rejection, but sources within the New York Times intimate the officials at MCK had an agreement with Tamura’s bosses to have her ousted.

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Written by Francis Muli

Senior reporter at Kahawa Tungu, Muli has a passion for human interest stories. Believes in unearthing societal rots that have been hidden from the public eye.
Follow me on Twitter @FmuliKE. Email francis@kahawatungu.com

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