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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

So, Is The Press In Kenya Really Dead? Or Is Kumekucha Just Cooking His Own Stories?

A Muthui Saiti posted my article yesterday about the independent free press in Kenya being dead, on Facebook. It elicited some very interesting comments which tell a story of their own. I hereby reproduce those comments;

  • You, Kim Okumu, Carol Nyege and 5 others like this.
  • Luderick Ludriga I dont agree with this.
  • Sessiville Nani A thought provoking piece indeed
  • Luderick Ludriga We have alot of evils that hapened those Moi error days which the press upto today has not unearthed.Dont compel us to give u propaganda
  • Muthui Saiti Luderick, what don't u agree with?

    By the way it is Kumekuchas opinion
  • Luderick Ludriga If you want me to do a story on why Moi didnt attend the funeral then trust me its possible but one fact is the story will be mere speculation and to that effect almost propaganda.This is what used to be in most weekly tabloids in 80s and 90s..in such ...See More
  • Kevin Orato Some truth in the rambling.
  • Roseline Oketch Am a poor reader,siwezi soma hiyo.
  • Carol Nyege @Luderick Ludriga our understanding of what investigative journalism, propaganda and speculation are is totally different. When Those brave American journalists did the Watergate story that removed an American president, I am told people were saying exactly what you are saying here "mere speculation." The Jicho pevu guy told us Saitoti died of poisoning, again mere speculation (according to you). Somebody has brainwashed Kenyans into believing that if it is not an official statement from the government spokesman then it is speculation. We prefer pure lies spun as the truth to speculation that is closer to the truth. Poor Kenyans. This seems to be the thinking in the leading media houses as well. Is it any surprise that our newspapers are so boring that I usually flip through in 3 minutes flat? I have been wondering when somebody will write a piece like this one about how low the Kenyan media has sunk since it was run by illiterate speculation peddlers in the 80s. I agree with my friend Chris Kumekucha give me back the 80s any time. Give me back "speculation". Where would I be if Facebook had not come along. I laugh and I get better informed. Wacha wale hawataki speculation walale. Thanks for this "propaganda" piece Chris Kumekucha. Pls keep them coming.
  • Carol Nyege I love The Star and it is the only newspaper I read these days. Nation I read the obit pages only. To be blunt the more educated people are the more stupid and less creative they get. I think that is what happened to the boring Daily newspapers. It is like reading a thesis. Plus the fact that the government gained control of Nation during the Kibaki days (speculation again but proven daily by the kind of stories they publish). Remember the one about Mary Wambui (Obako's second wife) being given space to tell Kenyans lies? Tena on a Sunday? Eti she is not Kibaki's wife. What were the GSU guys doing still guarding her? I guess that is not worse than speculation. Free press died in kenya a long time ago na hio ni obvious.
  • Kumekucha Chris Why is our "free vibrant press" not covering the truth about what is happening in parliament right now like those people being beaten senseless by the police. I guess it is NOT official yet. Bado ni speculation. Poor Kenyans!!!
  • Luderick Ludriga You guys dont read.Talking of parliament,what has not been covered?and if the Star have not covered it why say the media has not.Is the star not a daily.?How many people here read the Standard on Sunday and Nation on Saturday and Sunday?How many of you read other staff imd papers other than politics.Like the Standard and Nation on Wednesday and Thursdays you will get very detailed word on Technoloy and education.Do you people read agricultural articles in the papers?or all you want are investigations on who killed who and not investigations on how a street boy turns into a millionaire.?
  • Kumekucha Chris Bwana Luderick you sound exactly like those journalists I meet at cocktail parties desperate to look intelligent and busy proving that they read widely. Every time I look in their direction, I see them nodding their heads all evening completely failing to ask the right questions and missing the real story. I don't read agriculture because it is always based on press releases and I would bet that the story about the street boy who became a millionaire was organized by a PR company or spin doctor preparing the millionaire for the next level. How about an investigative piece on the entrepreneur who has grown rich supplying the glue and drugs for the street boys to get high on?
  • Kumekucha Chris Talking of reading widely, have you ever heard of a guy called Alfred Hamsworth (Lord Northclife) a newspaperman who read widely but always simplified, clarified and digested everything for the masses to easily take in? That is what true genius is. This discussion will be difficult when most people do not even understand what the role of the media in a developing country like Kenya really is. In my view if you cannot talk to even 30% of the population and you call yourself a leading daily then you are a joke. What people are referring to here is an elitist media. There is of course nothing wrong with being elitist except that it is a different discussion. The problem in Kenya apart from the clever control of the media by those who own Kenya (and it works because most of us are so gullible) is that the elitist media are trying to force their elitism down our throats and then blaming Kenyans for being poor readers. Hamsworth lived in the 19th century but he has very important lessons for the media in Kenya today.
  • Luderick Ludriga That has been covered.As l said you people dont read.An article has been done on how the streetboys and disabled are being used by those entreprenuers you are saying.l personaly with other reporters from the dailies we have extensively covered farming out of our initiative.My latest piece is on ivory trade:How the big names in KWS conspire witg poachers..the thing is,you people are political adicts.By the way,l dont do cocktails.l buy my bottle.
  • Kumekucha Chris Just as I suspected my brother Luderick is a journalist in Kenya today.
  • Luderick Ludriga Kenya today??man,its time you bring what you have done,l bring my work and we know who is who.By the way talking of Star,you wont miss my feature stories as a correspondent,my recent story,on rabbit farming,-read my brother.Read.
    let me tell you somet
    ...See More
  • Kumekucha Chris Thanx Luderick u r obviously a serious journalist. Now let's discuss the media in Kenya. Any problems with editors refusing to carry ur more controversial stories?
  • Luderick Ludriga The editors choping board will always be there.Good stories will sometimes be killed whereas some shody work will be published.The late Mr.Kaloki a former editor with the Nation would have told us its a perenial challenge.Yes l have had my stories being killed for reasons you will be told "our editorial policy"..many investigative stories on Uhurus visit in the UK were killed..Wanjohi Githae must be telling us this.
  • Kim Okumu Luderick what you say is interesting, so the problem is the readers - who dont read - not the journalist who write poor subjective ill informed stories
  • Kumekucha Chris @ Luderick WOW!!! WOW!!! Now that is what this discussion should be about. Who came up with that editorial policy and why? FYI editors in Kenya are mostly gatekeepers. For who and for what objective?
  • Kumekucha Chris Kim Okumu, u've hit the nail on the head. The problem will always be the ill informed readers who don't read. Just like the guy who can't sell his music because Kenyans have poor taste in music.
  • Luderick Ludriga @kim lets go with facts for facts-you give me an example of an ill informed story in the dailies then we compare notes.@chris ,yes alot hapens.We have a lot of hardworking young reporters who toil for stories but our editors are sometimes bought to kill.lt hapens.As l said,its a perenial challenge.
  • Kumekucha Chris That editorial policy that kills stories, who came up with it and why? Is it designed to sell newspapers or to protect certain interests? Should an editor of a national daily be a gatekeeper for certain powerful individuals? Is it acceptable? How have these editorial policies impacted journalism in Kenya? How have employment policies in the press impacted us as a country? Like the one of NOT employing journalists who are not graduates (no matter how talented they are)? Is writing a gift or something that anybody who has had the privilege of higher education can learn in a flash? What happens in other parts of the world? How come the most notable legendary journalists, on Fleet street for instance, have mostly NOT been university graduates? Is the Kenyan media an elitist tool or a crucial development tool that should be used to reach the masses and educate them for a better Kenya? If it is for the masses do these editorial policies reflect this? What do Kenyan journalists thrive on, doing that story that was discussed in diplomatic circles or the one that ends up being passed around in the Mathare slums for weeks?
  • Kim Okumu the story of icc cases and the spin put on it - especially about witnesses withdrawing and cases collapsing sunday nation pg 26
  • Kim Okumu headline ya pattni - sunday nation - is it a scandal? really? pattni is right by law isnt he? and nation is always on pattni's case - who are they writing for?
  • Kumekucha Chris The spin oh the spin. ALWAYS beware of the spin.
  • Kim Okumu Luderick what you say about editors proves Kumekuchas article is correct - your personal diligence notwithstanding and it would be foolhardy to say anything contrary
  • Luderick Ludriga No,Kim,,journalists not doing their work and the stories being killed is a different thing....my work is t go out and get the story,,not to make sure it runs....Good you brought up the Pattni story..yes its a scandal...the question is,was he one in a scandal?what is different not to make the current happenings a scandal ...bottom line we have allegations.What is this inserpt they put that is fiction.That is what l want you to tell me Okumu.All papers carried te Pattni story..Nation decided to go with it as the splash.which is easily understandable.
  • Amaheno Jumbah Giving a closing remark here, Kenya is in damn shit because of the Sirikali thing in their mindset installed by the real colonialists and the neo ones. I hear you read widely, who has read 'Not Yet Uhuru'? Before you read that book you will never understand this nation. We are fakes! I loved the DAILY NATION till i realized its just a jumble of bought jounarlism. Editors too afraid of libel and the boards direction and cash flow projections for the next five years they dont wanna ruffle some feathers. I have had my articles published there too but the editing that occurs leaves the piece 'safe' not truthful! So i quit! We are at a Y junction. Hope i never digressed! That is the bottomline. The love of money is the beginning of all evil!!!
  • Kim Okumu Luderick -
    is an editor a journalist?
    the story is ill informed to misinform and heavily one sided - a half truth is a half lie therefore it is a lie meant to sway public opinion against an individual
    is Pattni robbing Kenya or are there 'some Keny
    ans' robbing him of his rights and exclusive contracts - in the name of the masses yet its a handful of organisations and people that are benefiting...
    Pattni hana haki ama?
    -"...easily understandable"? not if you're Pattni/Paul on Sunday? are these journalistic tactics to you?
  • Amaheno Jumbah You know what kim Kim Okumu, we have to have guys on the other side who suckle so we have to have action reaction! But its what makes the difference between truth n lies. You know we aint got grey areas!!!
  • Kim Okumu Luderick - Amaheno Jumbah is not alone - his closing remark does it for me - I hope you keep on the straight and narrow but be warned that if you sleep with the sheep you will certainly get fleas - unless you're extremely exceptional - which it seems you are! - kudoz
  • Kumekucha Chris You cannot spin lies and turn it into the truth and neither can you dress lies so well that it passes for the truth. The truth is that journalism in Kenya is in trouble. The best expose that is never published was never written pure and simple. How can you solve a problem that you do not see? To be honest it is disturbing when a practicing journalist defends a media industry where editors are killing their best stories and yet they find that acceptable. It disturbs me terribly. Admittedly my big "problem" is that I saw what was there before and I see what is there now. In those days editors feared to publish stories and that was understandable today editors try to outdo each other killing stories and that I cannot understand. That is the difference and we urgently need to answer the question why??? This is not a trivial matter because the future of our motherland depends on it.
  • Luderick Ludriga Well lets agree to disagree.This was an opinion by Chris.Which l have objected.My objection is an opinion which you can also object.

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7 comments:

M. Pesa said...

Chris: You are right some of the best writers and journalists in the world are not graduates unlike some policies in certain media houses in this banana republic called Kenya. A good example is Britain's best paid journalist called Richard Littlejohn, you can check him out on Wikipedia. He started when he was just 16 years old. But when it comes to Radio and TV, we even have better presenters like Maina and Kingangi and Jalang'o who are not trained journalists, at least they are informative and entertaining. And they get paid hundreds of times better than that reporters you talked about who wants to looks very educated in cocktail parties.

kumekucha said...

Hello Mpesa,

Siku mingi. Nice to hear from you after such a long time.

You seem to be very well informed about the journalism profession, my friend.

Chris Kumekucha

Phil said...

I nearly believed Loderick until I read his comment on Pattni's issue.

Jeff Koinange once interviewed Pattni. Pattni said that whenever Nation Newspaper writes about Kenya Duty Free Limited, it wants its readers to believe that KDFL is Pattni, yet he is only one of the many shareholders.

Last Sunday Nation Newspaper reported a Court decision as another scandal by Pattni! In their website they wrote, "Not Again! Pattni's New $ Billion Scandal" The contents of the report was about a court decision that compels KAA to pay KDFL for breaching the contract. The question is: If it is a scandal, is it created by Pattni, the Court or KDFL?

Strangely no newspaper in Kenya wants to report on Pattni's side or arguements given by the court to make that decision, and Kenyans have believed Pattni is wrong based on one sided story given by our Newspapers.

Loderick comment on that case as Kim mentioned reveals what you are claiming about journalism in Kenya. To me he looked ignorant, because he nneded to also see what made the Court make that decision, which is an information available to them.

Mwarangethe has written alot here, some of which are very important and should feature in our newspaper, but nothing will be featured. Today I argued with a friend who was making noise that we will go East and leave West if they constinue with "No essential contact with our President". I told him that it will be jumping from the frying pan into the fire. That we should be working at being our own and not running to the East where it is known the trade imbalance with our country is greater.

There are some knowledge that now you csn only find in blogs and twitter and not mainstream newspaper and popular books.

Philip the Visitor and not Phil

Anonymous said...

Mental hospital and jail breaks.
Insecurity everywhere.
Should we expect mpigs to disappear also for speaker to hunt and return them back to bunge.
Digital republic!

M. Pesa said...

Hi Chris, I did study journalism but decided to follow a completely different route when an opportunity presented itself (U know those hidden corners in life!) Thanks God from the look of this industry today, I have no regrets!

Anonymous said...

The Kenyan National Assembly gip is agressively greedy than any other creature on earth. And it can spit fire like the Italian A-gip.

One is even using his faith to spit fire. We want to remind him that in Kenya there is a clear separation of State and Faith. Kenya may not be democratic but the constitution says this and we shall protect it with a million-man demonstrators, this time accompanied by monkeys.

Anonymous said...

Philip, the Visitor.

Time goes by fast when we will least expect.

What became of your diligent search for someone with a good history? Did you find him/her?

Can someone tell me someone with a good history who we can support in year 2012.

- Philip, 5/6/09.

By the way, instituting intermarriages between the Chinese men/women and their Kenyan counterparts will be a better deal for trade in the long run as was the case during the early-mid 1400s, before the Omani and others flocked in and ruined the special arrangement.

The marriages will kind of offset the unfair trade imbalances and may bring the Chinese to their senses when they end up living among Kenyans as part of the community rather than dealers in counterfeit, substandard and other very cheaply manufactured commodities.

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