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Kiptum’s shocking death, radio and dollars dominate social media


The monitoring period, February 12-18, 2024, unravelled some captivating narratives that unfolded both online and on traditional media. Our keen insights delve into the stories that spurred conversations on the digital landscape and created impact on the media. Some of the trends were Kelvin Kiptum and Eliud Kipchoge, World Radio Day, Jacque Marube, and Sell Your Dollars.

1. Kelvin Kiptum & Eliud Kipchoge

On February 12, 2023, world marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum lost his life in a fatal road accident along the Eldoret-Kaptagat road. At the young age of 24, Kiptum’s promising career ended abruptly, just two months before he aimed to achieve the extraordinary feat of becoming the first human to complete a marathon in under two hours. The star athlete recently won the Chicago Marathon with a remarkable time of 2:00:35, surpassing Eliud Kipchoge’s world record. His untimely demise occurred alongside his Rwandan coach Gervais Hakizimana while, miraculously, another passenger survived.

The sad news of Kiptum’s passing dominated social media, with the athlete trending at #1, garnering 64,000 tweets over 21 hours. Concurrently, Eliud Kipchoge, the previous record holder, trended at #2 with 34,000 tweets. Remarkably, even on February 13, Kiptum continued to trend at #️1, amassing an additional 30,000 tweets over 21 hours.

Impact on media

The extensive coverage and dominance of Kiptum’s story on social media platforms, particularly X, resulted in increased visibility for media outlets reporting the incident. The high number of tweets and prolonged trending heightened public interest and engagement, contributing to higher viewership or readership for related media content.

2. #WorldRadioDay

Kenyan media joined the rest of the world in commemorating World Radio Day 2024 to celebrate more than a century of radio shaping the airwaves. The Media Council of Kenya held national celebrations in Kisii County, bringing together a wide array of stakeholders who highlighted radio’s critical role in informing, entertaining and educating the public. CEO David Omwoyo emphasised preserving radio’s integrity, crucial for providing accurate information to the many. #WorldRadioDay trended at #6 with 10,000 tweets for over seven hours, showcasing the widespread appreciation for this enduring medium.

Impact on media

The event served as a reaffirmation of radio’s enduring relevance in Kenya’s media landscape in providing information, entertainment, and education.

The gathering of media stakeholders, professionals, and relevant bodies in Kisii highlighted collaborative efforts within the industry. Such events foster unity among media organizations, promoting a sense of shared purpose and mutual recognition of the significance of radio.

Omwoyo’s emphasis on retaining the sanctity of the radio space underscores the responsibility journalists have in maintaining the integrity of information. This can influence media practitioners to prioritise accuracy and credibility, contributing to a more responsible and trustworthy media environment.

3.Jacque Maribe

The Director of Public Prosecutions announced intention to appeal the High Court’s decision to acquit Jacque Maribe in the murder of Monica Kimani. The ODPP expressed dissatisfaction with the decision to free the former Citizen TV news anchor. Judge Grace Nzioka ruled that Maribe may have been culpable for perjury instead of murder, stating that the ODPP did not present enough evidence to implicate her in the crime.

Impact on media

The appeal will likely lead to increased media coverage, attracting attention from news outlets, legal analysts, and the public. This heightened interest can result in more extensive reporting, debates, and discussions across various media platforms.

The ongoing coverage of the appeal can influence public perception of Jacque Maribe, the ODPP, and the justice system. Media narratives, analyses, and interviews may contribute to shaping public opinions on the guilt or innocence of the individuals involved.

The media’s scrutiny of the appeal can contribute to a broader discussion about the effectiveness and transparency of the justice system. Journalists may investigate and highlight any perceived shortcomings in the legal proceedings, fostering public awareness and potential calls for reform.


Treasury Principal Secretary Chris Kiptoo warned that Kenyans who hold dollars risk facing more losses after the shilling registered its strongest intra-day gain against the dollar in over a decade. Kiptoo attributed the shilling’s rapid surge to investor confidence citing the government’s buyback of the Sh316 billion Eurobond maturing in June.

The hashtag #SellYourDollars trended at #️1 for over nine hours.

Impact on media

The combination of the shilling’s strongest intra-day gain in over a decade, government buyback of a substantial Eurobond, and warning agianst hoarding of dollars created a compelling narrative. Media outlets may dedicate more resources to covering and analysing these developments, leading to increased audience engagement.

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