Saying that the brutal killing of Shireen Abu Akleh has shocked the world could be an understatement. Speaking to fellow journalists inside my circle and in quite a few East African journalists’ WhatsApp teams, I may really feel grief, anger, confusion and in some, I may even sense concern.

No Story Is Price Dying For

In most Kenyan media faculties, the phrase “No Story Is Price Dying For” is sort of a typical saying. Nevertheless, what occurs once you fall in love along with your work?

Describing herself as a “product of Jerusalem,” with the Israeli-Palestinian battle shaping a lot of her life, Shireen Abu Akleh has proven the world what it means to be a journalist and what it means  to inform tales that  have an effect on you as a journalist and your neighborhood. In her personal phrases, her solely mission was to be near her folks, and inside her folks she was killed.

“I selected to turn into a journalist to be near folks. It might not be simple to vary actuality, however I used to be not less than capable of carry their voice to the world,” Abu Akleh mentioned in a video taped for the Qatari channel’s twenty fifth anniversary. 

Journalism in Africa Has Turn out to be a Travesty

After I was rising up, I listened to Kenya Broadcasting Company’s Radio Taifa and watched KBC Channel 1 —  that’s what we had at the moment and I have to say that the kind of journalism exhibited was mind-blowing. A kind of journalism that may solely be in comparison with Abu Akleh’s.

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Immediately, African journalists have turned their craft into a really odd profession reserved for cool youngsters, who spent most of their time in huge cities or abroad. After spending time abroad, these cool youngsters return to their homeland and land jobs in main newsrooms, because of their polished English. Sadly, most of them have zero journalism abilities or storytelling skills.

Whereas journalists like Ahmed Hussein-Suale,a famend investigative journalist from Ghana, was killed in 2019 for his function in exposing the corruption in his nation,and Jamal Farah Adan of Somalia, Betty Mtekhele Barasa of Kenya, and dozens had been killed in Ethiopia overlaying the Tigray battle, it is vitally unlucky that some journalists nonetheless discover it proper to make use of journalism for fame, energy, and construct future political careers.

Immediately, some Kenyan journalists interact in uncalled-for social media wars with critics who level out their lack of abilities and unreasonable theatrics for clout chasing.

We have now misplaced the fundamentals of journalism such nearly as good storytelling. As a substitute, journalists are thirsty for social media numbers, likes, and retweets. We don’t confirm anymore. So long as it helps enhance the variety of followers, it goes for publishing. Proper now, distinguishing a professionally educated journalist from a socialite is turning into an uphill activity.

African Governments Should Study from Palestine

Shireen Abu Akleh was shot lifeless by Israeli forces simply eight days after the world marked the World Press Freedom Day on Could 3. With such occasions, African governments have to step up and avoid Israeli-like behaviors of gagging the media, and as an alternative, similar to Palestine gave Abu Akleh the liberty to inform her folks’s story, they need to additionally give the identical freedom to their journalists.

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In March, Ugandan authorities raided the places of work of Digitalk, an internet television station recognized for airing important views of President Yoweri Museveni and his household. Apart from confiscating the TV’s manufacturing and broadcasting gear, additionally they arrested and charged its reporters with cyberstalking and offensive communication. The fees may see them dealing with as much as seven years in jail. 

The killing of this courageous journalist who dared to inform the tales of the oppressive Israeli mustn’t kill the spirits of journalists worldwide. As a substitute, this ought to be an inspiration to each reporter to work even more durable,  to assist in giving voice to the unvoiced, uphold justice and make the world a greater place for each particular person whether or not in Gaza, Tigray, Libya, Syria or Afghanistan amongst different nations and areas experiencing instability.

(Senior Editor Francesca Julia Zucchelli edited this text.)

The views expressed on this article are the creator’s personal and don’t essentially mirror Truthful Observer’s editorial coverage.