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Nothing to read: Stories that died in the headline

These recent stories died in the headline. Because, well, what is the point in reading a story whose headline already lost you?

Take a look:

  • Star, January 26: Win for Kenyans as Court of Appeal halts Housing Levy

Did they just decide there that Kenyans won and President Ruto lost? That heading of a news story took sides. You don’t take sides in news reporting and writing. You just tell the story, impartially. Here, impartiality died in the heading.

  • Nation, January 24: How Rita Waeni’s killers bought murder weapons online

What do you mean, how? “How do you buy an axe?” One of our witty observers here (all pun intended) – we call him MK – asked out loud, rhetorically. “You simply walk into a hardware shop and say: I want an axe. Or how else do you buy an axe, by hire purchase?”

  • Nation, January 23: Secrets of Ruto-Koome State House meeting… Revealed: What President Ruto did to justify his attacks on the judiciary

What did the President do? Doing implies action, doesn’t it? This story did not state any action by the President. Instead, it cited unnamed sources alleging what the President said at the meeting. What President Ruto did? Nada. Nothing. So, that heading was – what’s the word – hot air.

  • Nation, January 12: El-Nino fails to cool down hot electricity bills

Cheeky. No sense. (We’re trying hard not to say, “nonsense”.) The idea is to communicate, plainly. Not to be what Americans call, smug. Let’s be a sport. Perhaps the Nation wanted to lighten up things a little?

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