July 2016 \ Diaspora News \ DIASPORA JOURNALISM—KENYA
A Century of Indian Journalism Saga in Kenya

Kenya Indian journalists founded newspapers and magazines to demand human rights and freedom under colonial rule in the first half of the last century; and during the latter half showed professionalism and ingenuity to reach top positions. Despite facing threats, prison, exile and deportation, they contributed to developing Kenya’s media in no small measure, writes Kul Bhushan

Kenya Indian journalists founded newspapers and magazines to demand human rights and freedom under colonial rule in the first half of the last century; and during the latter half showed professionalism and ingenuity to reach top positions. Despite facing threats, prison, exile and deportation, they contributed to developing Kenya’s media in no small measure, writes Kul Bhushan

An Indian merchant, Alibhai Mulla Jeevanjee, set up a newspaper, The African Standard, in Mombasa in 1901 to counter Anti-Asian racism by the existing British owned newspapers, East Africa and Uganda Mail. Within three years, the British owned paper went bankrupt. A year later, Jeevanjee sold it to two Englishmen who renamed it as East African Standard which is still in print. 

Later on, other South Asians founded newspapers in Nairobi to fight for equal rights, self-government and freedom. Colonial Times and Daily Chroniclewere the early ones. Girdhari Lal Vidyarthi, editor of the Colonial Times, was the first journalist to be jailed for sedition in Kenya. Two others followed suit.  The colonial government charged the editor or journalist and fined the publisher or printer with sedition to intimidate and close down the offending paper. The journalists suffered rigorous imprisonment, exile and deportation and a well-known freedom fighter and editor Pio Gama Pinto was assassinated. But they persisted in their fight for equality and human rights.




Tags: Kenya

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