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Here’s evidence of the death of quality in our newsrooms

“Westlands MP Tim Wanyonyi who is eyeing Nairobi gubernatorial seat has received blessings from Nairobi clergy led by their chairman Bishop Hudson Ndedwa.” Winnie Onyando, Daily Nation.

Nairobi clergy? All of them? What about the Akorino? The Catholics? The Anglicans? Did they all endorse Wanyonyi or did someone plant this story to give this brother of Weta “The 5th” an edge over other Nairobi governor aspirants?

“Family members of an 84-year-old man who died in Nyeri County five months ago heaved with relief early this week….” Irene Mugo, Mercy Mwende: Daily Nation. What’s with this “heaving sigh of relief” business?  It belongs to the 80s.

Has anyone realised that social media is quickly taking over the mediascape, that even the government is relying on social media for information?  If anyone wants proof, look out for statements such as “We refer to a video clip….” By the DPP. It shows the rising power of the social media.

“The country has no law that would put behind bars propagators of hate speech.” Oh really? So why are suspects arrested? How can they be charged? Why is hate speech a crime if there is no law banning it?

A few paras down, Vincent Achuka and Samwel Owino write: “Though the law is clear on what constitutes hate speech and prison terms outlined for those found guilty…” Agh! This is what we call a glaring contradiction.

“Police labelled him “a high value target.” Gordon Olsen, The Star: Wait, are we legitimising extrajudicial killings here? This man has a family. This man’s body was found in some thicket in Kiambu – more than 500 kilometres away from his home in Mombasa. He was strangled after torture. This man has a family that reads newspapers. His children will probably hate the media for the rest of their lives.

Next: We all know that journalists are not very good at math. This explains the confusing numbers in our media: “State House meeting was attended by over 200 MPs (Daily Nation). State House meeting was attended by over 170 MPs (The Star). So, who is right? Who did the counting?

And then The Star dedicated acres of space on Moi’s grandchild suit that told us that Moi was worth over Sh300 billion. The story by Felix Olick was interesting. On the next page, Olick had a story informing us that Moi’s grandson was broke, and needed Sh240,000 to pay rent. Problem is, it is the same story split twice. While such a story might never find space in The Standard for obvious reasons, the Moi family might be forgiven for asking why acres of space was given to one story about their father, if they were to run it.

Still in The Star, Akello Odenyo describes a teacher as “medium height plump.’’ Some people would call this description body shaming. Then the school that this “plump” teacher heads is described thus: “It is not unusual to see some slum students coming to school with weapons, peddling drugs and engaging in sexual activities.” Someone needs to apologise to this teacher and to the good students in his school who do not do drugs and are still virgins.

Why? This is stereotyping, the kind that made Kibera “the largest slum in Africa”, never mind the fact that Mukuru might be bigger and even poorer.

“We have spent more than 50 years since independence waiting for money to trickle down from the top to Wanjiku (common mwananchi)” Daily Nation. Was the translation necessary? Everybody knows Wanjiku!

Finally, which was the better story between “Azimio: Uhuru, Raila rally MPs” by Onyango K’Onyango and David Mwere’s “Audit shows Kenyans died from Coronavirus as ventilators lay idle?” When will politics take the back page in Kenya’s media and death and life issues take the front page?

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