Written by Robert W. Armijo
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Friday, 17 August 2007

image for Kenyan government to open new school of journalism for mimes, amid silent protests over proposed restrictive media law
Kenyan journalist protest silently; government takes them at their unspoken word

Nairobi, Kenya - A silent protest by Kenyan journalists wearing gags over their mouths, marching quietly though the streets of the capital took place today demanding that the National Assembly reverse its law granting courts the power to compel journalist to reveal their sources. Journalist say it will hinder their ability to fight corruption, while law makers say they merely seek to prevent the defamation of prominent people, not actually identified by name but described so accurately, their identity is discovered just the same.

As a compromise, the Kenyan government has proposed opening up a new school of journalism for mimes.

"Look at them," said a Kenyan government official. "They are already getting used to the idea by gagging themselves, marching down the streets in silent protest like that. They are practically mimes already. I can see the new school of journalism for mimes will be a great success. Good-bye now."

"We don't think they are getting the point," said a muffled voice of one of the protesting journalist. "Opening a new school of journalism is a step in the right direction, but making it for mimes only to attend, that smacks of censorship and compromise."

Kenyan journalists point out that they have been able to uncover corruption with the use of the undisclosed source journalist privilege and left without the ability to keep confidential the identity of their sources combating corruption would be nearly impossible and inevitably result in the loss of democracy in Kenya.

Government officials maintain, however, that new graduates from the Kenyan Government School of Journalism for Mimes will be free to report on anything they want without ever having to worry about breaking the new law and facing imprisonment by ever refusing to reveal their sources, simply because they could not, even if they tried.

A spokesperson for the Paris-based watchdog 'Reporters Without Boarders', said that although they were personally faltered by the Kenyan government to use the Art of Mime, a French invention, they feel it would be a bad idea to use mimes as reporters.

To use them in Kenya, a country struggling for democracy would not only be disastrous for democracy but more importantly, a major faux pas, added the spokesperson.

"They are all so full of shit I can smell them from the Left Bank," said Jean-Marie Page, professional mime. "I could show them all a thing or two about reporting the news, using the Art of Mime."

Page claims to have personally mimed the entire evening newscast on a daily bases for those tourists that did not speak French, Americans mostly.

"I would mime the Evening News with Tom Brokaw for the Americans every evening until it got too dark," said Page. "Now, look at American TV today. It's all entertainment, no real news anymore. It was my idea and what did I get for it? Nothing! No more, I have my chance now to prove them all wrong. Idiots! Go away now."

Page has been hired to as the president of the Kenyan government new school of journalists for mines. He starts in the fall.

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