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Ruto, Raila surprise meeting with M7 raises Handshake II fever

Introduction

Embarking on a journey through the dynamic landscape of media trends, this report dissects captivating narratives that unfolded between February 26 and March 3, 2024. From the fervent prayers of Charlene Ruto to the unexpected twists in international diplomacy and the unconventional voyage of the “Mnyama” boat, our analysis illuminates the intricacies shaping Kenya’s media narratives.

 Ruto, Raila & Museveni

Photographs of a meeting of President William Ruto, opposition leader Raila Odinga, and President Yoweri Museveni garnered significant attention on social media. They met at Kisozi Country Home in Uganda on February 26, 2024. The purpose of their gathering was twofold: First, to discuss Raila’s candidacy for chairmanship of the African Union Commission; and to strengthen the longstanding diplomatic and economic bonds between the two nations.

The event propelled Raila and Ruto to the third position in the trending charts with an impressive 30,000 tweets for over 19 hours.

  

Impact on media

The media’s attention was heightened due to rumours surrounding a possible handshake between Raila and Ruto. Speculation about the nature of their discussions and the potential implications for Kenyan politics dominated media coverage the entire week.

Media outlets exhibited biases based on their editorial stances. Pro-government and opposition-leaning media offered different perspectives, leading to varying narratives surrounding the meeting.

Baringo bandits

Baringo County, specifically Baringo North, dominated media headlines after a bandit attack that led to the death of two students from Yatya Primary School and theft of an unknown number of livestock. The brutal murder of well-known Kagir Primary School head teacher Thomas Kibet particularly touched the hearts of many Baringo residents as he was noted to be a man who championed peace and security efforts in the region. Mass exodus was reported in Yatya as residents sought safety.

  
Impact on media

The news led to rallying calls by media and leaders in Baringo for the government to bolster its efforts in combating insecurity in the region. In-depth coverage of the insecurity in Baringo by the different media entities may uncover the proponents of the violence witnessed and keep the government on its toes in addressing this matter.

Road accidents: Tahmeed bus

On February 24, 2024, tragedy struck Maadili Primary School as a devastating accident unfolded, claiming the lives of three students and leaving several others with severe injuries. In the same week, a Tahmeed bus traveling from Busia to Mombasa collided head-on with a tanker, resulting in a fiery inferno. Preliminary investigations identified dangerous overtaking as the primary cause of this fatal crash. In the aftermath of these incidents, discussions on Facebook gained momentum, centering around the profound impact of road accidents on survivors and their families. A particular focus emerged on accidents involving school buses, with users referencing past incidents attributed to negligence and carelessness. Among the incidents revisited was the tragic case of #JusticeForLiam, a three-year-old pupil of Goodrich International School in Katani who last month fell off a moving school bus and was killed.

    

Impact on media

The emotional and humanising approach to reporting captured the attention of audiences. Stories that involve tragedy, especially those concerning schoolchildren, often evoke strong emotions, leading to increased readership or viewership.

Media plays a crucial role in raising public awareness on issues such as road safety and transportation regulations. By presenting the incidents and subsequent discussions, the coverage contributes to the broader conversation on the need for improved safety measures and accountability in both school transportation and general road usage.

High-profile incidents reported by the media have the potential to influence policymakers and regulatory bodies. The detailed information about the causes of the accidents and the ensuing discussions may prompt authorities to revisit or strengthen regulations related to road safety.

‘Mnyama’ trending boat

Kenyans were left in sheer disbelief as a boat embarked on an extraordinary journey, traversing the heart of the country on the bed of a truck. This unprecedented journey starting early February from the Kenya Ports Authority became a viral sensation. Videos and photos documenting the boat’s unconventional odyssey flooded online platforms, captivating the attention of the entire nation. Safely secured on a broad truck, the boat gracefully maneuvered through various towns and cities, leaving a trail of amusement and astonishment in its wake. Accomplishing the unexpected, the truck dedicated to this singular transportation spectacle reached its destination in Malaba on March 1.


Impact on media

The widespread sharing of videos and photos online indicates a high level of audience engagement. Media outlets that successfully tap into viral and unconventional content often experience increased viewership, website traffic, and social media interactions. This surge in audience engagement can contribute positively to the media outlets’ metrics and visibility.

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