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Here’s honest, unflattering opinions on media from the streets

Yes, Mediascape hosts some discussions on the streets with Wanjiku to hear her thoughts on the media. That is what inspired this column. The following are the common subjects and the general responses from “out there”, which we tried to keep as original as sanely possible:

On the Media and agenda setting: “The media no longer sets the agenda for this country. It has left this job to politicians. Why, for example, should we dwell on politicians and what they say and do while people are dying of hunger in Marsabit and playing war games in Kerio Valley? You guys have let the country down in this area!”

The media and war on corruption: “Yes, you guys have done a good job telling us who has stolen what. But this is where your stories end – and we know why. We also know why some corruption stories suddenly go quiet or why some are never told; or even why some are told more than others. Wacheni kutuona wajinga pwana!”

The media and politics: “We know why some politicians hog the news space more than others, and why some politicians’ stories are not told. Why, for example, have you made us believe that there are only two presidential candidates in the upcoming election? Money rules in Kenya’s media – if you have the money, they will make you president!”

Morning breakfast shows: “Hey, there are some breakfast shows that you cannot listen to with your child while driving to work in the morning!  It is sex and sex and more sex! And on TV it is the usual “commentators” parroting about the same thing”.

TV programmes: “Ah? -I do not watch TV anymore! What for? There is nothing new to watch! And why are you guys so fond of bad news? Sometimes it’s bad news after bad news – gruesome murders, rapes and defilements that are described in detail that leave one traumatised, and robberies that are made to sound like Hollywood productions. Aargh! Kwangu we watch movies and cartoons, period!”

Media and children: “Do not even go there! Who would want to expose their children to Kenya’s media? They would be traumatised for life!”

Media and quality: “Huh! Anyone reading our newspapers would think they are written by lower grade children – the stories are pathetic and poorly written. Let’s not go to the subbing – in one story alone, you will find several simple words misspelt. What happened to the good old veterans? Maybe we went wrong when we promoted them to become overpaid editors and left the writing and subbing to incompetent scribes.”

Media and government: “They are in bed! The media is the government and the government is the media. Wewe niambie, why are some senior government official’s stories not published? We hear that even when they have been written and sent to some editors, they never see the light of day; that all the senior government official has to do is place a call and a story dies. Is that what we call being a public watchdog? No, we call that being the politician’s pet dog!”

Media and public trust: “Please do not quote me on anything! I do not want to be misquoted! I do not trust watu wa media!”

Ni hayo tu kwa sasa from the streets!

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