Over 12,000 sign petition against New York Times as foreign journalists in Kenya speak out

New York Times office in singapore
New York Times office in Singapore

Over 12,000 people have so far signed a petition on the change.org website to have New York Times pull down gory images of those killed in the 14 Riverside attack in Nairobi.

A spot check on the website that is renowned worldwide for pushing for humanitarian causes revealed that the number of people signing the petition that was set up on Wednesday was steadily rising.

Also Read: American media obsession with showing dead bodies of everyone but their own

This even as foreign journalists in Kenya on Wednesday released a statement in support of Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura, the New York Times East Africa region bureau chief, whose article has elicited a national outcry.

“The FCAEA condemns the extremely aggressive and personal attacks through social media against Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura of the New york Times for photographs selected not by her, but by her editors in New York, and used alongside her reporting,” the statement from the Foreign Correspondents Association of East Africa (FCAEA) reads.

The petition on change.org against the New York Times resulted from the use of a photo showing dead bodies in the 14 Riverside attack.

The New York Times editor said she has no control over which images are used in her article and asked Kenyans to contact the company’s photograph department.

The image is yet to be pulled down.

The American media company later released a statement saying: “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”.

The petition on change.org to have the New York Times pull down the image is among many others that have pushed governments, businesses and courts around the world to change their stance on humanitarian issues raised on the platform.

One of them was on Noura Hussein, the Sudanese teenager who had been sentenced to death for killing her rapist husband albeit for self defence.

Her case has been termed as the world’s worst court ruling and drew international outcry. People from across the globe are still signing the petition even after the Sudanese court bowed to pressure and overturned its ruling.

As of Thursday, January 17, 2019, the petition dubbed #JusticeForNoura had 1,778,576 signatures.

Another petition was #FreeBobiWine after the Ugandan Government arrested him on claims of treason.

He was later freed and the charges changed to illegal possession of firearms. The petition that was launched in August 2018 now has over 35,000 signatures.

Other petitions include the push for anti-bullying law in American schools, new education law in Spain to lower cost of textbooks for parents, allowing Indians to wear turbans in their courtrooms, new law ordering supermarkets to donate unsold food in France, removal of tax on tampons and many others.

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Story By Allan Irungu
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