World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

Update: Horror and confusion as al-Shalab militants attack Nairobi's Westgate Centre

World News Publishing Focus

World News Publishing Focus
Your Guide to the Changing Media Landscape

Update: Horror and confusion as al-Shalab militants attack Nairobi's Westgate Centre

There has been, some phenomenal visual reporting on the events as they take place. Tyler Hicks, a New York Times photojournalist, happened to be near the mall on Saturday when gunmen opened fire on dozens of people. He took photos with a small camera until his wife, fellow photojournalist Nichole Sobecki, arrived with his Kevlar helmet and professional equipment. Hicks and Sobecki joined up with police, who let them move around the mall with them, allowing them to capture some extraordinary coverage of the horror that was unfolding inside the building.

There has been outcry, however, over the Sunday Nation’s decision to use a graphic photo of a woman in screaming in distress with blood on her face as their front-page image. Linus Gihati, CEO of Nation Media Group, publically apologised for the decision on national television. The New York Daily News and South Africa’s The Star used the same image, but these instances evoked far less of an outraged response.

There is some live video footage from eyewitnesses, and Kenya’s Daily Nation is streaming a live video report of the events as they unfold, whilst various news sources are giving frequent updates on Twitter. Politicians have explicitly requested, however, that the public refrain from spreading hate messages on social media and from speculating over events, or partaking in ‘irresponsible reporting’, ‘but instead to wait for official statements from the government.’

Much coverage has focussed on trying to decipher what happened and why; the location is one in which there are many large open spaces but also various effective places to hide. BBC News have published a floor plan of the shopping centre, with links to videos and witness reports. Both the Guardian and The Times have given detailed breakdowns of the chronology of events. Peter Walker and David Feeney yesterday provided a written rundown of the incidents as they happened, and The Times tweeted an impressive graphic, presenting an annotated picture of the scene, noting key developments as they took place over the weekend.

Editor's note: This post has been updated to include information about the public outcry over the graphic photo used by the Sunday Nation.


Savannah Whaley


2013-09-24 11:14

Author information

The World Editors Forum is the organisation within the World Association of Newspapers devoted to newspaper editors worldwide. The Editors Weblog (, launched in January 2004, is a WEF initiative designed to facilitate the diffusion of information relevant to newspapers and their editors.

© 2020 WAN-IFRA - World Association of News Publishers

Footer Navigation