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Online Content: A comparative brief of Standard and Star

This short report analyses online content posted on March 13, 2019 by Star newspaper and Standard media on its twitter page.

  1. The Star published a story on alleged charcoal burners but there are some concerns on the quality of journalism applied.

Figure 1: The photo doesn’t have attribution and seems manipulated from another source. Check the ‘caption’, “Kweli nimeiua maskini atabaki kuwa”. Clearly, a bad job from the writer going by this caption. Furthermore, the photo despite being of public interest breaks tenets of the Code of Conduct for the Practice of Journalism in Kenya which states that journalists or any writers shall avoid manipulation of images in a way that distorts reality and accuracy of news.

Figure 2 : Depicts an editorial problem as exemplified by the choice of language in the story. The writer contradicts the story in some parts because the story suggests that the two people died of hunger on one hand, while on the other hand, indicates that the woman had income generating activities but died of starvation. “The woman is known for burning charcoal and doing other menial jobs to get something to eat,” area chief John Ekwar was quoted as saying.

  • The Standard media on its ‘Ureport’ platform allows anyone to share stories but the question of quality control always arises.

Figure 3: On March 13, Standard media posted a story, “Video of university students beating colleagues over girlfriend attracts DCI’s attention”. The photos and videos used lack attribution/sources. Queries also arise as to the number of girlfriends mentioned in the story.

What is required as intervention mechanism?

  • There is lack of quality, in-depth journalism in online content especially among mainstream media.
  • Considering more people now access stories online, media outlets need to frequently conduct quality checks on their online content.

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