Why Kimiko de Freytas should not be allowed to continue reporting in Kenya
As you are probably aware, the 14 Riverside complex came under attack from suspected Al Shabaab militants yesterday afternoon. Dusit D2 Hotel and neighbouring Secrets Graden restaurant bore the brunt of the attack.
Kenyan security forces responded swiftly to the attack and were able to rescue many people from the complex that hosts the Dusit D2 Hotel and other office buildings. Unfortunately there have been reports of fatalities.
Article continues after advertisement
According to the Interior Ministry Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, the situation is under control, although there was gunfire as late as 8am this morning.
The New York Times was among the first foreign news service to report on the attack and their coverage also featured photos from the scene of the attack. One of the images had dead bodies. Incoming East Africa Bureau Chief Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura was the journalist that wrote the article and she was among the first to Tweet the link to it.
Immediately the article went up, scores of Kenyans Tweeted her and the New York Times to be humane and to remove the offending picture.
Dear @nytimes. What value do you add by publishing pictures of dead bodies from Nairobi? You wouldn’t do this for an attack in New York, would you? Shame on you. And also to @AP, who took the photos. @kimidefreytas@deanbaquet
Surely Kimiko, as incoming EA Bureau Chief, you would have quicker say if you asked them directly, rather than exhibit a rather dismissive attitude on this and asked folks on twitter to request the image to be taken down. How callous. Show some responsibility and compassion.
Very disturbing images published by @GettyImages, accredited to @kabirdhanji, from the Riverside/Dusit incident. Others posted by @nytimes attributed to Khalil Senosi (for @AP) in an article by @kimidefreytas. Absolutely distasteful, disgusting and deplorable. An utter disgrace.
Meanwhile the offending picture was removed from the header and put inside the story.
She continued her tone deaf stance with a claim that it’s a New York Times policy to show dead bodies of victims of terror attacks. This is an outright lie as evidence of their previous coverage of terror attacks in the US and Europe shows. The New York Times went ahead on Twitter to back up her position.
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. https://t.co/Qjm0qBMaF3pic.twitter.com/1sqgTnnVKW
Kimiko de Freytas and the New York Times has handled this whole issue badly and they couldn’t pick a worse time. It is for this reason that we believe that Kimiko should not be allowed to work in Kenya because it seems that she doesn’t respect black bodies and Kenya to some extent. She doesn’t even have the temperament to be respectful even when she is clearly wrong.
We need better people reporting from Kenya and Kimiko is not it. We also need to kill the idea of foreign correspondents and have this foreign media organizations hire Kenyans who would have a better understanding of the country and the region anyway.