Following social media uproar, The media Council of Kenya had earlier today written an official complaint to the New York Times Bureau Chief in Nairobi in regards to their DusiD2 article. In a letter signed by Chief Executive Officer David Omwoyo, The council had issued a 24-hour ultimatum to New York Times asking them to pull down the gory images published in its #RiversideAttack article or face consequence.
Take note, in the event the pictures are not pulled down within 24hrs 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…” reads part of their statement.
In what is seen as supremacy battle, the New York Times in unapologetic manner has responded to the concerns raised by Media Council of Kenya as quoted below.
First, we should point out that this decision was not made by the main reporter, Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura, or by any New York Times journalists on the scene in Nairobi.
We recognize that coverage of a terrible event like this can be very painful to those affected, and we try always to be sensitive and thoughtful in how we handle both words and images in these situations. We want to be respectful to the victims, their families, and anyone affected.
But as journalists, we also believe it is important to give our readers around the world a clear picture of the horror of an attack like this. This often includes showing pictures that are not sensationalized but that give a real sense of the terrible situation.
We try to consider the same factors wherever in the world something like this happens — balancing the need for sensitivity and respect with our mission of showing readers the reality of these events.
In recent years, Times editors have made hard choices — and published similar painful photos — in situations ranging from a shooting in New York City to terror attacks in London and Manchester; to victims of the drug wars in the Philippines; to war and famine in Syria and Yemen; and many others.
To clarify one other point: Twitter did not suspend an account associated with The New York Times; it suspended an account that violates their impersonation policy nearly three years ago.
Again, we are very sympathetic to the pain of those affected in Nairobi, and we understand that many reasonable people disagree with our decision to publish these photos. But I hope to assure you that we take this responsibility seriously, and are guided by our mission to help readers see and understand the world.”
Philip B. Corbett
Associate Managing Editor for Standards
The New York Times
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