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MEDIASCAPE: Random thoughts

Truth is, there has been such pile-up of mediascape random thoughts on our reportage. We are actually spoilt for choice. Let us be clear here: on this space, we do not judge; we do not condemn – we just discuss, and keep the space open so that anyone in the mediascape can call us out.

Now, let us begin by discussing a story that we have been trying so hard to hide and wish away – a top scholar’s alleged suicide.

We said it here, and we will say it again, that a good journalist is not the one who knows it all, but one who knows someone who knows it all. As such, a journalist who reports that a top scholar committed suicide must, by the basic standards of journalist verify the story, and two, talk to experts about suicides.

To go to town with a story that so-and-so committed suicide because of some salacious claims that we refuse to quote here, is, in plain language, unprofessional, and dastardly insensitive to something called ‘family.’

The bottom of this is simple – journalists are journalists, not because they know everything, but because they reach out to everyone to tell the story right. Anything less than this is gossip, which we already have too much of in our mediascape.

Speaking of gossip, let us talk about how we are reporting corruption. We stand accused of accepting brown envelopes. This is putting it too mildly for we must accuse ourselves of preaching water and taking wine.

How else do you describe the fact that only a few TV stations and almost nil radio stations covered live the proceedings of the national anti-corruption conference, and for the most that did, came in on the second day, and only because there was promise of more drama?

And when Wilfred Kiboro bit the bullet and conceded that the media is indeed marred with corruption, we put this as a brief inside our reportage. We have to face it, that the messenger in the story about corruption in Kenya has not been, like Caesar’s wife, beyond reproach; that the brown envelops have since turned scarlet, especially so after devolution.

But, we have spoken about this issue numerous times, spoken about poorly paid journalists, some of them without hospital insurance, who are tenfold more vulnerable to angling stories in favour of corruption suspects than a poorly paid police officer investigating the same.

That said, our audiences will notice that we blew Judiciary, office of the Directorate of Public Prosecution, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and the Presidency’s role in corruption more than our own.

***

Now, before we wrap up, can we begin to recognize that one Raila Amollo Odinga is the African Union High Representative for Infrastructure Development in Africa? We really must stop pigeonholing him as ‘opposition leader’ and start holding him to account by his latest title- African Union High Representative for Infrastructure Development in Africa. In any case, the handshake dissolved him into to the government, or did it not?

See you next week!

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