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Curtain falls on KCPE as Raila stalwart Okanga shoots to fame

Introduction

The report covers November 20 to 26, 2023. Trending topics span from former President Uhuru Kenyatta, Education CS Ezekiel Machogu to vibrant hashtags such as #HarambeeStars and Seychelles and the dynamic stories of Kirima, EU Parliament, Nuru Okanga, and Christina Shusho. The analysis delves into the impactful currents shaping the media landscape. As we dissect these trends, we aim at unveiling the nuanced connections between digital dialogues and their impact on the broader media narratives.

1. Ruto addresses EU parliament

President William Ruto on November 21, 2023 gave a compelling address at Strasbourg, France, highlighting the paramount significance of fostering robust collaborations between the EU and Kenya, as well as broader EU-Africa partnerships. President Ruto shared his insights on the pressing environmental issues ahead of the COP28 Summit scheduled for the upcoming week. The impact of President Ruto’s speech reverberated on social media, with the EU parliament trending on X with an impressive 10,000 tweets for more than 21 hours on November 22, underscoring the widespread engagement and resonance of his message.


Impact on media

The positive reception and standing ovation for President Ruto suggest led to in-depth analyses, opinion pieces, and interviews discussing the content of the address and its implications for international relations.

2. KCPE and CS Machogu

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu released the results of the 2023 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education and Kenya Primary School Education Assessment examinations on November 23, 2023. A total of 1,406,557 candidates sat for KCPE, and the best candidate achieved an impressive 428 marks. CS Machogu informed that, despite 9,354 candidates being unable to take the exams, the ministry has diligently conducted a comprehensive mapping to afford them an opportunity to sit for the examinations in January 2024. The KCPE and KPSEA examinations were administered from October 30 to November 1, 2023.

Upon the release of the results, KCPE surged to the top spot on social media, trending at #️1 with 30, 000 tweets and maintaining its trending status for over 10 hours.


Impact on media

Release of the KCPE and KPSEA results, coupled with the details of the examination processes and outcomes, received extensive coverage in mainstream media. Newspapers, television, and online news platforms featured this as the most prominent news item. The topic trended at #️1 on social media with a substantial number of tweets highlighting the interconnectedness of social media and mainstream media. Traditional media outlets incorporated social media reactions and discussions into their coverage, creating a more dynamic and interactive news narratives.

Highlighting the highest-scoring candidate and the overall competitive nature of the exams adds a human interest aspect to the story. Media outlets focused on profiling high-achieving students, creating narratives that resonate with their audiences.

The mention of the 9,354 candidates who missed the exams, along with the ministry’s plan to address the issue, provides a story of challenges and solutions. This can be a focal point for in-depth analysis and discussions in mainstream media, sparking conversations about the education system and its fairness.

3. Nuru Okanga

Opposition leader Raila Odinga’s unwavering supporter, Nuru Okanga, gained significant attention on November 23, 2023, securing the #️3 trending spot with an impressive 12,000 tweets that persisted for over eight hours. This surge in online activity can be traced to his earlier status as one of the 1.43 million candidates who undertook the final Kenya Certificate of Primary Education exam earlier in the month. However, the aftermath of Okanga’s examination journey took an unexpected turn as different KCPE results began circulating on various online platforms. These results were purportedly linked to Okanga, with some displaying signs of manipulation using a Fake Text Message application. This specialized software is crafted to generate entire conversations with a remarkably high level of customisation, meticulously designed to replicate real-life interactions. The dissemination of these potentially manipulated results has sparked intrigue and discussion within the online community, raising questions about the authenticity of Okanga’s academic achievements.

Impact on media

Mainstream media outlets may face challenges in verifying digital content, especially when dealing with personal stories that gain traction on social media. The speed at which information spreads online can outpace traditional fact-checking processes, potentially leading to the inadvertent inclusion of unverified or manipulated content in mainstream news coverage. The media (NTV) interviewed the subject to seek clarity on the results. However, during the interview Okanga did not deny or accept that the results belonged to him. The media needs to be cautious when dealing with trending topics online. Getting facts and verifying information must be prioritised.

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