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Mediascape: If we wronged you we forgive you, it’s Christmas!

It’s Christmas season, so no fussing or fighting on our last column this year.

Make love not war. Write love not criticism.

Speaking of criticism, today would be a good day to shake hands with this column’s critics. With Covid-19 over, it is safe to shake hands here, right?

So, let’s shake hands with sensible fellows that accused us of playing “know-it-all”; fellows that, openly or behind our backs did not mince words in describing us in very unflattering terms. For indeed, walls have ears and pages have bigger ears. So, words have reached us – words like “nyinyi niwajuaji, manajifanya mnajua journalism kuliko sisi.

Guilty as charged! It is indeed true that we do not know more about journalism and the workings of the media than anybody else. But we try to learn about journalism and the workings of the media as much as the media teaches us every day.

On this matter, we are the happiest media students in Kenya. Happy in that we know we do not know anything about Kenya’s media except what the media teaches us every minute, every hour, every day, every week.

Word has also reached us that we risk being lynched if we declared our names and professions publicly, in, say, the middle of a newsroom. “Some of these guys writing about the media have never been inside a newsroom, they have no idea what it takes to have a story published!”

Guilty as charged! For, indeed, it is true that some of the stuff we write is deliberately written, not from the first-person singular, not the second person, not the third person, but the last person narrative. In a nutshell, we speak for the bush, and trust us, the bushes around our newsrooms are no longer as dark as the bushes of yore. They are, so to speak, enlightened bushes.

Oh, and one very angry critic said: “Mnajifanya wajuaji si mkuje mfanye hii kazi!”

To which we respond that we are already doing it! See, even the best journalist will tell you that the business is about teamwork; that for every one good piece of journalism, there are several critics that helped polish it.

This is precisely why we might need to start recognising subeditors and revise editors alongside those ‘journalist of the year’ fellows that take all the credit for something that took a team to polish.

And if someone tells you “That garment does not look good on you,” you do not retort “come wear it yourself.” Unless you are daring them to join you on your date with the man or woman of your dreams – the reader, the listener, the audience.

Finally, to all media owners and administrators, let us stop being stingy this Christmas, do something for the men and women of the media. Do anything to show that you appreciate the donkey work they perform every day – including enduring weekly lambasting from The Media Observer.

For all those that we rubbed the wrong way, we forgive you.

Have a most wonderous holiday!

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