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Friday, March 07, 2008

What Does K24 Stand For?

Towards the end of last year, a brand new 24 hour news channel was quietly launched into the Kenyan market. Apart from a full page advertisement in the Standard newspaper, there was very little else in terms of promotion.

Today barely 4 months later, this new TV station clearly modeled along the lines of Atlanta based CNN continues to quietly exist.

To be fair, K24 has had its’ moments. Many of these have emerged from their eyewitness news segment that brings breaking news. The idea is to evolve this into some sort of citizen journalism thing where virtually anybody can report from where it is happening. During the troubled times that our country has recently passed through there are many potentially award winning features that have been aired in this segment. One sticks out very clearly on my mind where host Jeff Koinange interviewed a German woman in the ruins and ashes of a burnt down children’s orphanage in Eldoret. Apparently what angered locals was the fact that children hailing from different tribes were happily interacting with each other.

It was also on K24 that I saw an intimate interview with ODM’s William Ruto, expertly conducted by Jeff Koinange on the lawns of what is clearly the famous journalists’ favorite hotel, namely...

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Anonymous said...

This is not about K24 but just the usual attacks on GEMA from disgruntled Chris, who once worked in Kikuyu dominated media.

Just like every institution, K24 has it's own teething problems as they learn the ropes. Let's judge the media house 2 years from now and quite harshly if so.

It's funny that Chris just happens to hammer only Kikuyu dominated areas like Nation Media and now K24everytime. About it being a Kikuyu dominated station, let's look it this way that in every profession, certain groups tend to dominate.

For example, Luos are allover in medicine and academics and no one cares, Kikuyus in Media and Law, Somalis in long distance hauliage, telecoms and clearing and forwarding, Kambas in civil service, Kalenjin in athletics....etc K24 has also opened doors to many Asian presenters which is a positive vibe!

So dear Kumekucha, just come openly like a real man and attack industrious Nyumba ya Mumbi instead of usual undercover tactis. Ironically, you didn't care to contact them for comment as usual or even find out how much they submit to in taxes.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:24, what is this obsession with kikuyu ...Is is kikuyumania or phobia....Let us learn to appreciate every arguement is it factual or rumours.....Personally i am not a big fan of K24 but there are times that i have sat down to watch....and this one thing didn't skip my ears or eyes....The name of the reporters and the presenters and i remeber sharing with someone kwani their were no other qualified journalists from other tribes or do we lack journalists even in the illchamus or ogiek community? This person replied and said K24 means Kikuyu 24 and i can assure you that person was not Chris of Kumekucha. This morning i read an article by ALy-Khan Satchu in the Daily nation and he said our first Bill Gates might just be someone from pokot and he said there is need to restore the ethnic arithmetic in public appointments and what i loved most is " I can't afford to hire someone becuase of his ethnicity; I hire on talent. What you should appreciate if you are a keen fan of K24 is that their is lack of talent and there are one or two of the journalists doing a shoddy job. If iwas an entrepreneur i would love to hear what people think about my venture and if there are areas to be corrected then i would do so ASAP. I am sure Rose Kimotho would appreciate Chris comments. Maybe there is someone out there like Jeff who hasn't yet been discovered just because he is an ogiek. Trust me ask any guy who has been looking for a job in most organizations the tribe is a must be coming from the right tribe.So my guy rest in peace dont look at everything as kikuyu bashing, it is waste of time..


Anonymous said...

Anon 1:24 read this from a site:
The last paragrph says and i quote: Just like the other forms of citizen journalism, K24 eyewitnesses have done what conventional journalists will not—interviewing children even without parental consent.

Is this what you call "hammering kikuyu dominated areas. How would you feel if someone comes to your house and start to interview your children when you are not there?

Phil said...

Chris, I think we ought to support anything that is Kenyan especially after the latest peace agreement between political leaders. For instance, although I do not agree with the editorial content of the Citizen Media, I am proud that it is 100% Kenyan and it always plays local hit music and local programming. Infact, I bet you, it is the only station, apart from KBC, that would dare play your KUMEKUCHA hit song by Maroon Commandos (thats Fred Obachi Machoka for you on roga roga). I cant imagine kiss, capital or easy FM playing that sort of music. Over 90% of programming on KTN and NTV are imported (read dumped) and even worse they bring content that was enjoyed by European and North American homes in the 1980s. (Sanford & Son, Cosby Show, et

Whats more, Chris, K24 have a unique and refreshing way of reporting news as opposed to Nation/Citizen/KTN all of whom copy everything that is done at Sky News of UK! They re-package 9pm prime news as the following day's breakfast news. How so boring!

Another thing, I do not agree with you that Jeff is the main thing at K24. Eric Latiff won KUJ awards while he was still at 98.4 capital FM and KTN only took him up because Louis Otieno and Catherine Kasavuli were poached by Citizen and they were desparate for a prime news anchor.

Lastly, would it surprise you to learn that Jeff is actually the majority shareholder at K24? And that the people behind this station are not just Kikuyu?

Lets encourage fair and ethnicity free competition for it is the only way that our home-grown media houses will expand regionally and internationally. More importantly, they keep us informed and they create much needed employment for thousands of youth who graduate from college each year. Advertising industry also grows.

Anonymous said...

I do not think the critism levelled by Kumekucha is a result of hatred of the kyuks.
The guy does speak his mind, and is only stating a fact...
I hope the CEO of this station will use this positively to change the perception.
I did not hear the name Kikuyu 24 first on Kumekucha I heard it immediately the station went on Air.....

Anonymous said...

It's funny but I thought this observation was spot on. Some friends and I were actually browsing a market strategy for a similar start-up and I must say, the end-product is really what counts, because without it, the consumer will go elsewhere. The congestion of media outlets in Nairobi is not lost to me either.

a significant majority of the Middle class in Kenya is located in this market however, the big picture here is the lack of a niche as defined by Chris. One can argue that i-reporting as instituted by k24 is the new wave but the logistics and costs associated to this form of broadcast directly affects the consumer. so I doubt that this media niche will pick up significantly.

Without giving away much, back in the day KNA produced Kenya Newsreel. It was more like a "Kenya Mwezi Hu" but it grasped the idea of what could be done. There's a niche market there, more so now, that not only can capitalize on the ever dynamic political landscape, but exploit Journalism schools in production among other operations in order to step up the quality of the end product. In addition, most western TV stations are typically more than willing to take such start-ups under their wing, to coach, assist and perfect programming.

Either way, KTN set the bar decades ago yet no-one has caught up. I wonder why?

Anonymous said...

This is not Kikuyuphobia.

If this station opened in the capital here (Washington D.C.)and was all-white, people would question personnel policy.


Anonymous said...

agree with Phill.................let the healing begin

Anonymous said...

Chris, the Mo Amin Foundation was working on a continental-wide station to turn into Africa's Al-Jezeera or CNN; a station that would carry Africa's voice to the world.

It was (is) an excellent idea. What happened to it? How far have they gone with their plans?

Anonymous said...

this article started out so nicely, I actually read it!

But you mess things up when you involve kikuyu this, kikuyu that talk. It's a private enterprise and has the right to employ whoever it wants.
just the way the standard has so many jangos as journalists.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Phil for educating the "Know-All" Chris!! Though I disagree with you most of the times (I am not an ODMer), I have deep respect for your unapologetic and proud support for ODM. While the Taabus of this world were busy claimimg horseless (while they were undercover agents of ODM), you were man enough to preach openly what you thought were the virtues of the party. Also, unlike Taabu, when you challenge a position taken by Kikuyus, that challenge appears to be rooted in an ideological worldview as opposed to welling-up from a primordial ethnocentric source. This attitude is good for the country for it allows a vigorous discussion of our differences without inflamming raw tribal passions. You sound like the kind of guy one can have a beer with, disagree on virtually everything, and yet go and have some nyama choma the following day. And that is as it should be, dear Kenyan!!!

P/S. I, too, was forced to carry a KANU card signed by Mulu Mutisya when he was Nairobi KANU chairman. I still keep it. Without it the UoN had threatened to withhold my salary. I refused then to hate the Kalenjins because Moi was doing that to us. And now I refuse to embrace the same lunacy being peddled around of "Let us hate Luos because of Raila" or "Let us hate Kikuyus because of Kibaki." There is more to life than going around sweating under a buggage of hatred and ill-will.

Anonymous said...

ANNON @8:40,

i'M also wondering what happened to that idea ?

Abass said...

Here comes a question. Should private companies in our big cities like Nairobi have the right to employ whoever they wish or should their recruitment reflect the diversity of the inhabitants?

Taabu said...

That information is power cannot be gainsaid and K24 may have their eyes on the sky. Good luck to Jeff and Rose. That said you don't venture into an eterprise with the wrong tools and expect it outgrow and reshape itself into a multinational unless the ground rules have changed without publishing.

Chris take can be very unseful to an open minded CEO. Prejudice makes you read malice where no exists. The tribal card in Kenyan have never been so hot. We can declare and preach about the basics of private enterpreneurship all the much we care but it won't wash. Ignoring your clientale while bombarding them with one regional accent is the heingt of insensitive at best and arrogance at worst. Like it hate it the ethnic eye is seeing double since last December. Leave in denial if you must but that won't make truth mutate.

@Anon 10.29 thanks for the rebuke. It takes brains like yours to make us stop and think. I won't get hot under the collar but only prey that you start practicing your sermons. In the end we share a geographical accident called Kenya. Sio kwa ubaya. We do what we please with the caveat to emrace diversity, don't we? Weekend njema.

Anonymous said...

Please repect Kameme 24 to employ whoever they prease.

Anonymous said...

Please repect Kameme 24 to employ whoever they prease.

Anonymous said...

Chris does not deserve the negative critques above.

Read the article again, he actually supports the spirit of Kenyan enterprise.

However, he hopes that K24 can better itself by having staff who reflect the demographics it reports on.

Anonymous said...

If K24 does stand for Kenya 24, then they should aim at being as representative of Kenya as they possibly could - that is the way you earn good will.

Anonymous said...

I agree, Chris' critiques are fair.

There is nothing wrong in asking private organisations to be more representative; it is for their own good.

Can you imagine what we would say if it turned out that all the private universities had faculty from one ethnic group?

Anonymous said...

K24 is a private company and they are allowed to hire and fire whoever they please as long as it's within the law. There is no affirmative action clause stating that they must hire a certain number of people from different regions and tribes so no law has been broken. If at all it becomes a public company that has it's shares publicly traded at the NSE they will "probably" have a national outlook. Do not forget that since in media you need to make money, they will definately get a national outlook once their marketing dept realizes that employig kyuqs is turning off "potential" income. give them time and lets see where they will be in 2 yrs.

Mo Maalim said...

No offence to K24's owners but my little sister could probably run something of a similar caliber out of her playhouse.

A little more training for the presenters and investing in quality transmission equipment couldn't hurt.

Anonymous said...

k24 is a recent station and particularly koinange's show is placing the station in a good position in kenya's media industry.

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