Media giant New York Times (NYT) ruffled the feathers of most Kenyans due to its controversial coverage of the 14 Riverside Drive terror attack. The article, penned by the incoming head of NYT’s East Africa Bureau Kimiko de Freytas, has raised some questions on the reporting by the paper, more so about the decision to publishing of pictures of some of the dead bodies as a result of the attack.
A combative Kimiko remained adamant on not removing the pictures from the story. In a tweet she choose to put the entire blame on the photo desk in New York and said she is not the one who chooses the photos.
In a statement, NYT chose explain their polity. Their statement read:
We have heard from some readers upset with our publishing a photo showing victims after a brutal attack in Nairobi. We understand how painful this coverage can be, and we try to be very sensitive in how we handle both words and images in these situations.NYT response
We also believe it is important to give readers clear pictures of the horror of an attack like this. We also take the same approach wherever something like this happens anywhere in the world. https://t.co/Qjm0qBMaF3 pic.twitter.com/1sqgTnnVKW— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 15, 2019
Kenyans were very quick to respond to this statement. Some dug up previous NYT reports. One pointed out some of the coverage of other terrorist attacks and some mass shootings in the US.
Not all were, however, attacking the news outlet. Nanjala Nyabola, a freelance journalist, pointed out that the insults would only make it harder for journalists to do their job.
It will be a wait-and-see game to see whether NYT will pull down the photos.