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13 curses yelled from the ‘ground’ at Kenyan media

We went listening to the ‘ground’ and what it feels about Kenya’s media and heard a lot of cursing directed at one of Kenya’s most trusted institutions.

We synthesised the curses and edited them to 13.We are not quite sure that our editors will run this, but, well, we are but messengers, and we report the curses as heard, and only edit them to fit. So here we go:

Curse 1: Politicians who pay journalists to tweak stories in their favour. May their careers and the careers of the journalists they pay tweak towards the Sahara.

Curse 2: Journalists who earn two pay checks – one from their media houses, the other from their political godfathers. May the cheques bounce at the same time just when they need them.

Curse 3: Former journalists-turned-politicians who suddenly turn against the very profession that made them known. May they return to the newsroom one day to find the sweepers they left there doing better jobs than they did.

Curse 4: Former journalists-turned-ministerial spokespersons who suddenly become out of reach to the colleagues back in the newsrooms every time. May their phones hang the next time they need help from a journalist to beat a deadline in their new offices.

Curse 5: Members of the public who beat up journalists, who conveniently forget the adage that you do not kill the messenger. May no one turn up when they are screaming on top of their voices for help to shoo away a wolf!

Curse 6: Police officers who rough up journalists. May they wake up jobless one day after being fired for not being loyal enough to the bosses that ordered them to rough up journalists.

Curse 7:  Politicians who belittle journalists as soon as they assume office, even after the same journalists gave them platforms to campaign. The ‘powerful’ men and women who treat journalists with contempt and disdain. May they wake up one day with all the trappings of power gone, then call a journalist to rant.

Curse 8: Media owners and boards that pay hardworking journalists peanuts or nothing at all while pocketing millions in entertainment, meeting, and travel allowances. May a horde of rats invade their granaries.

Curse 9: ‘Senior’ editors who frustrate or kill young journalists because of personal insecurities or denial of sexual favours. May you retire early and return to the same newsroom to find the young writers you frustrated sitting inside those offices you sit today.

Curse 10: Religious outfits that run most of Kenya’s TVs and radio and use them to confuse and squeeze money from their followers in prayers for cash and  ‘seed planting’ scams. May the Good Lord lock you out of heaven.

Curse 11: Quacks that masquerade as journalists, and who, in the process, spoil the good name of the profession – the good name of good men and women who sacrifice their lives, their families, their everything; the good name of men and women who would do what they do repeatedly without asking for anything in return. May rats chew up the fake notebooks that these quacks parade in pressers; may their pens melt and stain their shirts and blouses.

Curse 12: The well trained, experienced journalists, who, be it out of lethargy, or plain laziness or false sense of importance, or impunity, fail to live up to the true calling of journalism. May their brains shrink to the level of mediocrity that they long for.

Curse 13: For whoever drafted this list of curses. May the Good Lord teach him or her not to curse, and instead report to the Media Council of Kenya every time they are angry with Kenya’s media.

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