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The day all Nation headings nailed journalism

If you are walking along and in front of you, behind a shrub, a black mamba is coiled in wait, you would need to know, right?

So, if a Good Samaritan sees it before you and yells, “Hey, there’s a black mamba three steps ahead of you!” That Samaritan will have given you information you need to know.

What you do with it is your business.  But there’s not a doubt that this information is critical to how you will act.

Journalism does the same job as this Good Samaritan.

The purpose of journalism is to provide citizens with the information they need to know in order to be free and self-governing. So wrote Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel in their 2001 book, The Elements of Journalism, What People Should Know and the Public Should Expect.

If this is the purpose of journalism, then the Daily Nation on November 7 wrote online headings that gave citizens information they needed to know.

Sample them:

  • “CBK shocker for bank loan holders”
    What? Is my money in the bank all there? Talking heads in the media have been crooning for months that Kenya’s economy is heading to a cliff-hanger, where everyone with money in the bank or on M-Pesa might eventually take a forced haircut. If you went to bed with a balance of Sh1,000, you’d wake up and the balance would read Sh700.So, this headline would jolt any Kenyan keeping abreast with current affairs. People are so attuned to fast shifting news about the economy; chances are that many would miss the word “loan” in that heading and, at first blush, think the story was about all bank “account” holders. They’d want to read on.

    Luckily, this story was that the Central Bank had kicked interest rates to 12.5 per cent from 10.2 per cent, the highest in 11 years.

  • “Puzzle of state office with eight top jobs”
    Fraud on the public?
  • “Inside the fallout at AAR Hospital”
    A hospital has management problems. What problems? Do I want to go there if I fall sick?
  • “How new health laws will change fees and referrals”
    Oh yes, how will the new health coverage system be different from my NHIF? What should I expect to pay at a government hospital?
  • “How the UK migration rules will affect Kenyans”
    Oh, the United Kingdom has new rules? What are the rules? When do they start? Will I still be able to fly through London Heathrow?
  • “MPs threaten to halt Sh17bn for teachers’ cover”
    A healthcare coverage for teachers was in the works. What was it promised to cover? What’s the problem now? Any hope for a solution?
  • “Why sleepover is a slip-up for modern parents”
    Tell me about it! Indeed, sleepovers are now complicated. Any words of wisdom here?
  • How portable health monitors transformed healthcare in Siaya”
    Oh wow! I want to know!
  • “Ten ways to reduce antibiotic use in your out farm”
    Ok, let’s all sit down for impactful education in farm management.

Kudos, Nation!

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