Kenyans online have called out American media outlet, the New York Times (NYT) for publishing a photo of one of the people killed in the Tuesday terror attack at a hotel in Nairobi.
The NYT article contains several images from the attack including one showing several bullet-riddled bodies slumped over tables in a restaurant.
Using the hashtags #SomeoneTellNYTimes and #deportkimiko, the angry Kenyans have issued several messages to the international community, following the attack that has so far claimed at least 14 lives.
- The government of Kenya should deport NYT East Africa bureau chief, Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura.
- NYT and the rest of the media, local and international should report positive stories highlighting human triumph, rather than glorifying the terrorists’ actions.
- Kenya is still a safe country for business and tourism.
What Kenyans are saying
The tragedy in #Nairobi today does not require— Kristin Gilliss Moyer (kristingilliss) 15 janvier 2019
nytimessensationalized photos of bloody bullet-filled bodies slumped over laptops to be understood as horrific. We don’t show dead bloody bodies of American school children. Esp not white ones, right? #SomeoneTellNYtimes
#SomeoneTellNYtimes we do not need your sensationalized photos to “get the picture”. We have family, friends, fellow Kenyans who have lived the nightmare of terrorism. Some are gone forever. You are a disgrace. Disrespectful.— Kambua (@Kambua) 16 janvier 2019
The only mature and responsible newspaper in Kenya so far. Thank you for the Patriotism— Ptoor Ileet (Freddymcalfie) 16 janvier 2019
PDAfrica. Wale wengine kama dailynation
StandardKenyayou are giving currency to the terrorists.. Kenya is unbowed. #deportkimiko #RiversideAttack #PrayForKenya #KenyaAttack pic.twitter.com/HuF6MB26qk
And ohh, how about a slight reminder to the New York Times & Daily Express, Nairobi is thiiiis beautiful!#SomeoneTellNYtimes#deportkimiko #ReversideAttack #Kenya #NairobiAttack pic.twitter.com/RcThCkFcZE— Ken Kwendo (@ken_kwendo) 16 janvier 2019
New York Times defends editorial judgement
Kimiko and the NYT have since explained the ‘reasoning behind their decision’.
‘‘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,’‘ read part of the NYT explanation posted on their official Twitter account.
‘‘But we also believe it is important to give our readers a clear picture of the horror of an attack like this.’‘
The photo(s) that offended the Kenyans are still included in the NYT story as of Wednesday morning.
This is The New York Times's position on why we published the photos that we did. I've deleted my earlier tweets that did not explain the reasoning behind our decision. https://t.co/kZBnaJLvqo— Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura (@kimidefreytas) January 15, 2019