New York Times(NYT) has hired top lawyers to defend it against a complaint filed by two Kenyan women for its bizarre use of images of dead people after Dusit Hotel attack.

Nairobi Journal can exclusively reveal that New York Times has hired the services of senior lawyers Pheroze Nowrojee and James Orengo to lead two other lawyers in fighting the claim filed before the media council.

Lawyers James Orengo, Pheroze Nowrojee and Otiende Amollo

The other lawyers are Ochieng Oginga and Julie Soweto.

The complaint is filed by Priscilla Muthoni and Elizabeth Nyaguthi on behalf of at least 500 Kenyans who felt aggrieved on how the newspaper casually handled the issue and even defied orders by the media council to pull down the images.

Immediate former NYT bureau chief Kimiko de Freytas Tamura

Immediate former NYT East Africa Bureau Chief Kimiko de Freytas Tamura is named as a second respondent in the suit papers.

The company reassigned her to London where she is now a correspondent.

Tamura is now based in London and is tasked with politics stories.

She first defended herself saying that she had no role to play in choosing which photo to use.

“As I’ve said, I don’t choose the photos. Please direct your anger to our photo department. Thank you,” she replied on her Twitter hurdle.

Her tweet fanned more fury  which forced her to apologize  on her own behalf and also for her employer.

Despite the apology, NYT  continued to rub Kenyans in the wrong way after it tried to justify why it used the images.

“We have heard from some readers upset with our publishing of 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,” it said.

“But we also believe it is important to give our readers a clear picture of the horror of an attack like this. This includes showing pictures that are not sensationalised but that give a real sense of the situation.”

It now faces among other things, being slapped with a fine and also have its journalist’s  cards which allows them to cover stories in the country  revoked.


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