Margaret Kimathi, who has been a news reporter at Nation Media Group for three years, recently spoke to this writer about her experiences covering breaking news stories in various parts of the country.
The price of truth - Margaret Kimathi's story of reporting in harsh environments
Margaret says no story is worth a journalist's life
She also discussed some of the dangers she has faced as a journalist, particularly in the most dangerous parts of the country she has covered.
"Marsabit County is the harshest environment I have ever gone to cover news. I went to cover a story about community wrangles between Borana and Gabra communities. It became so bad that we could hear gunshots, and we had to abandon what we were doing to take cover in Isiolo," said Margaret.
She added that they were unable to complete their coverage of the story despite spending three days in Marsabit.
The presence of bandits and clashes between the two communities made it difficult to gather information and report on the situation accurately.
According to Margaret, journalists should always be prepared when covering news in foreign countries. This means ensuring the safety of one's equipment and taking necessary precautions to prioritize personal safety over the story.
"My company usually provides per diem to cover food and accommodation. In the event of danger while covering an investigative story, the company comes in handy to protect you. They will take you to a specific location and provide everything you need," Margaret explained.
She also emphasized that no story is worth risking one's life, and that journalists should always prioritize safety over coverage.
"No story is worth your life. If a story is violent and you cannot handle it, leave it. You do not have to put your life at risk to cover a story," said Margaret.
Importance of investigative journalists in the society
An investigative journalist serves as a crucial public watchdog, ensuring that the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth are brought to light in matters that might otherwise remain hidden or concealed.
Through their dedicated efforts, investigative reporters play a vital role in uncovering and exposing issues that may otherwise go unnoticed.
By delving deep into complex stories and untangling webs of secrecy, investigative journalists hold individuals and institutions accountable for their actions.
Their relentless pursuit of truth brings transparency to the forefront, forcing officials to be more accountable and accountable to the public.
In a world where information can be easily manipulated or distorted, investigative reporting acts as a beacon of truth, cutting through the haze of misinformation and revealing the underlying facts.
Without the tireless work of investigative journalists, important stories may remain untold, corruption and wrongdoing may go unexposed, and the public's right to know may be compromised.
Their dedication to uncovering the truth ensures that the powerful are held accountable and that the voices of the marginalized are heard.
In a society that values transparency, democracy, and justice, investigative reporting plays an indispensable role in upholding these principles.
It serves as a critical force in maintaining a healthy, informed, and engaged citizenry, fostering an environment where truth prevails, and the actions of those in power are scrutinized for the betterment of society as a whole.
Kenya's top investigative journalists
- Dennis Okari
- Purity Mwambia
- Mohammed Ali
- Dennis Onsarigo
- John-Allan Namu
Margaret's message to fellow journalists
Aspiring journalists were also given advice by Margaret, who emphasized the importance of passion over money in pursuing a career in journalism.
"I would like to tell aspiring journalists that journalism is all about passion. You better leave it if you are not passionate about journalism. It's not all about money. It's more of a talent," Margaret clarified.
She noted that becoming a successful journalist requires hard work and dedication, and encouraged aspiring journalists to keep this in mind as they pursue their career goals.
JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!
Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or: