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Hello Nation, could you draw line between news na stori za jaba?

President William Ruto and Azimio la Umoja One Kenya leader Raila Odinga’s paths could cross after their closely contested presidential run last year that left the country divided, resulting in deadly anti-government protests (Nation, November 3, p.4). What’s the news here? Their “paths could cross”? What’s that in plain English?

Next: The conclusion of the bipartisan report this month is likely to bridge the gap between the government and the opposition, as both camps are expected to rally their troops to approve the proposals. The news here is? Bipartisan report “is likely to bridge the gap”? That is opinion. The talks between the government and opposition have already “bridged the gap”, haven’t they?

Para 4: But even as Dr Ruto and Mr Odinga gear up for a close working relationship to address the pertinent issues affecting the country, this closing of ranks could have far-reaching political ramifications in both camps.

Ahem, a bit of logic here. If the basic premises of an argument are mere speculation and nothing concrete (“paths could cross”, “likely to bridge the gap”, “expected to rally their troops”), the conclusion (“gear up for a close working relationship”, “closing of ranks”, “could have far-reaching political ramifications”) is equally conjecture, guesswork.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press, there are no facts here, which is what journalism is all about. Hii ni speculation. Stori za jaba.

Fresh revelations of funding gaps in secondary schools have emerged, leading to unaccounted for billions meant for the public institutions (Standard, November 3, p.2). What! Utterly atrocious writing. What’s “leading to unaccounted for billions?” Fresh revelations of funding gaps? How now?

For the five years, schools have not been receiving the Sh22,244 capitation per child with nearly Sh5,000 being retained by the Treasury. What does this mean? Schools have not been receiving the entire sum (Sh22,244 per child), or they have been getting nearly Sh5,000 less (meaning they received about Sh17,244 per child)? If so, then say schools have not been receiving ALL the Sh22,244 capitation per child. Then proceed to give the breakdown.

The development comes after Senate Speaker Amason Kingi laid bare the charges against Mwangaza, setting the stage for trial of the governor for the second time in 11 months (Star, November 1, p.6). Trial? Parliament has powers of the High Court in certain processes, but it does not conduct trials. That’s for Judiciary. Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza faces impeachment hearing at the Senate. Impeachment is a political, not judicial, process (trial).

Base ends Kwale exploration, to shut mine early next year (Star headline, November 1, p.11). Intro: Base Titanium might not extend mining activities in Kwale beyond 2024 after exploration in an area adjacent to its current operations established that it is not commercially viable. Headline and intro say different things. Base “to shut” is categorical, “might not extend” is ambiguous.

Not long ago, the world marked World Food Day on October 16 (Star, November 1, p.17). This is poor subbing. The words “not long ago” are unnecessary. If you are publishing an article on November 1, any reader would see that October 16 was “not long ago”.

King Charles III heads to Mombasa after concluding city engagements (Nation, November 2, p.2-3). Mombasa is also a city, buana. Nakuru and Kisumu bring the total to four. Eldoret will be the 5th.

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