Thursday , 25 July 2013

Category Archives: Governance

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How mentoring boosted my career in journalism

539340_10151233557947702_361083328_nMy long walk with the media started at Metro FM after I graduated from Daystar University in the early part of this century. I was the love doctor on the Metro love zone.

But despite building a reasonable following and playing great love ballads which I enjoyed tremendously, there was no hiding that the show was indeed a graveyard shift…I would work until midnight and then fight for space in the then face-me-style KBC vans that dropped all of us home!

It is then that I got an opportunity to attend an Internews in Kenya training in health feature production. It was a great opportunity. Since they had a media resource center I could access the internet for free and make phone calls. This was a bonanza for me since I have always been an infomaniac…I would spend time surfing the web and coming up with gems for my love show; the hardest I have ever worked. How it never translated into top ratings is a mystery to me and a story for another day. Read More »

Likes and votes: social media following is a terrible way to judge political contests

TwittervsVotes The just concluded General Election in Kenya was one of the most contested elections in the country’s history.

The ‘battle’ was fought on multiple fronts: from traditional door-to-door vote hunting to flying choppers branded in different coalition colours, to the manifestos, to traditional media, and not to forget, the social media. Of all these fronts, social media stands out as the one field where, regardless of the candidate’s actual popularity or depth of purse, one could compete. Read More »

Doves and blood: The mis-coverage of Kenya’s General Election

2013-03-04_kenyaelectionsMy most enduring impression of the foreign media in Kenya was formed during my adolescence. The assassination of J.M. Kariuki, the war and subsequent occupation of Uganda by Tanzanian forces, the death of Jomo Kenyatta and the attempted coup of 1982 will forever remain in my memory. These events ingrained in me the belief that my grandfather’s transistor radio was the only source of credible information. You see, my grandfather to whom I was close, loved his transistor radio and was a keen listener of BBC Swahili Service. Every evening at 6.30 pm, I joined him to listen to world news from the only credible source. Read More »

What if Kenya’s presidential debates were in Kiswahili?

Professors of Kiswahili at the University of Nairobi have challenged the organizers to conduct the second presidential debate in Kiswahili.

They say the organizers ought to consider the change because Kiswahili is recognized in the Kenyan Constitution – alongside English – as one of the official languages of Kenya.

But English enjoys popularity with the political class especially in conducting official functions. During the official clearance of presidential candidates by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), for example, the function was conducted exclusively in English. Similarly, parliamentary debates and court proceedings are more often than not conducted in English. Read More »

Ways to depict sensitive subjects in photography

Kenya’s Government spokesperson Mr Muthui Kariuki recently complained about a photograph that was carried in one of our dailies, The Star. In an open letter to the Media Council of Kenya that was also posted on his official facebook page, he disapproves of the publication of a graphic photo of a dead woman and her baby in the paper. The same image was used in a blog.

Muriuki’s main concern is that the image is disturbing. “As the Office of Public Communication and Government Spokesperson, we are extremely disturbed and concerned by the picture of a dead mother and child carried by The Star as it depicts Kenya to the global community, as a nation of savages who do not care about human life, especially the lives of women and children.” Read More »

Political parties endanger journalists

Kenyan journalists are up in arms after finding themselves fraudulently registered as members of political parties.
In a hotly contested election, where party affiliations have an ethnic hue, I also found it quite disturbing.
The journalists are likely to be seen as partisan by Kenyans. The matter should not be taken lightly since objectivity is one of the key tenets of journalism. How would a journalist, for example, registered to party A, cover stories in the strongholds of a rival party B?
Affected senior journalists shared their concerns with me. Read More »