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Mediascape: For banning journos from schools, Prof Magoha scores E

A quick round up. One, at the end of the year I&M decided to run an entire series of how different communities bury their dead. Seriously? Folks are singing Happy New Year and here you are saying, this is how we bury our dead? Death is not exactly a good subject at the end of one of the worst years in our lifetime. We are giving an E to the Einstein who came up with this dead idea for end-of-year features.

Two, Professor George Magoha ‘bans’ journalists from schools. Well, Prof, you are beginning to bite more than you can chew walahi. For starters, we journalists get lured by words such as ban. See, it’s not a story when a dog bites a man; it’s is a story when you ban journalists from covering the story of the man who bit a dog – then the journalist smells a story and, bang, a headline!

Well, journalists are parents too. They know what you want to hide. And, good Prof, trust us, we will tell this story.

Ban journalists from schools? In this era of the citizen journalist, all we need is convince the school watchman to send us a few clips of your dormitories where the word social distancing does not exist. And we have a story.

Besides, one group you can never silence is these youngsters high on hormones that you are trying to protect. The story will leak far sooner or later.

Prof, let journalists do their jobs. Do yours.

It is our responsibility to call you out when you do not do your job. If the dormitories are overcrowded and pupils are learning under trees, we will tell this story whether you ban us from schools or not. Banning makes the story even juicier.

Why? We owe it to Kenyan children and parents to tell their story.

Banning journalists from schools is silencing the voices of the little ones. Their safety and wellbeing, or lack of it, is every journalist’s responsibility.

Besides, schools are not prisons or military barracks where they write on the walls that, ‘Photography not allowed’ or ‘photographers will be shot.’

Covid or not, parents need to know that their children are safe, and in the middle of the covid-19 pandemic, journalism owes millions of parents the right to tell them whether their children are safe. So, good Prof, on this one, you have goofed.

That said, we must give it to the good Prof for ‘forcing’ our children back to school, for our own safety.

See, all those analysts we invited to our newsrooms to analyse the pros and cons of reopening schools, failed to tell us one thing: that a bunch of children roaming the estates will most probably bring back Covid-19 into the house.

So, invite all those education commentators – but Prof was right on this one. We needed those children back in school for our own safety.

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