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Excuse me while I gag…

I have yet another post cooking, but I need to go and grapple with dinner for a one-year old who will chew only certain foods, depending on her mood. So I’ll just put up these links and wonder how Kenyan newspapers are managing to outdo themselves when it comes to crappy, and yes, irresponsible journalism given what the country has just gone through. It’s bad enough that they are pushing the lets all forget about things and move on meme. And this is the profession that supposed to play a critical role in helping Kenyans make sure that the politicians stick to their end of the bargain?

1. Nice to know just how splendid the opening of Parliament was (Marende’s “frizzy” wig included). Half the article is about the guard of honor. In my wildest dreams there would be just as detailed reports about the attendance records of MPs in future sessions.

2. Even better to know about Raila’s new security detail (what I really want to know is whether they wear RayBans?). This is power-sharing 101 my friends. You have your security detail and I have mine. Thank you Standard for breaking it down for us. And of course the big headache of where the new PM will live…much more important than where 600,000 + IDPs will go..we are moving on.

3. The speaker’s wife outdoes her husband with colorful headgear.

14 comments to Excuse me while I gag…

  • To be fair, the Standard is tabloid journalism on most days. Or is that being unfair?

  • jackie

    LMAO. i know your pissed. But your article cracked me up.
    thats the kenyan media for you!

  • InSidious

    I thought no one noticed just how absurd the reporting was. Lately, I feel unsettled; more like I’m sitting on pins and needles, agitated to the core about the cavalier tendencies of reporting. There’s not without a few exceptions but man, just how regressive is our way of dynamic perception? The speakers ‘rag top’ not to mention that of judges is akin to a medieval dramatization of ‘modern’ Kenya. Ouch!

    IDP’s: I hate that term especially in reference to what is the situation on the ground. This is a minefield in the making as some seek vengeance on their return while others simply melt away into poverty and oblivion. Tough task ahead, no doubt and the Media must not abdicate their role…….tough, tough situation.

  • Reporting:
    -did you notice the Nation Editorial the day of the power-sharing deal never even mentioned it, preferring instead to dwell on how girls do not do as well as boys in KCSE, blah blah?
    -And the standard latest obossession with Raila’s security and motorcade, leaves one wondering whether that was all there was to the deal for Raila
    -Where the PM stays: For one, the President can work from state House, and the PMs can work from Harambee house, etc. Who cares? Why?
    – i care more for the fact that there may be 50 ministers and 150 assistants at the end of it all, to please everyone. And that it is easier to make a straight man crooked than the other way round, so my guess is there is a 70% chance corruption will still be very BIG in Government.

  • The media’s penchant for tabloid angles in their reporting, our politicians continue to show who they really are.

    One would think that by now, we as Kenyans should know better than to expect real change. The actors are the same, different parties but same actors. So it is no wonder that ODM has a me too motorcade, will have a me too cabinet and a me too portfolio of corruption.

    It is up to the citizenry to say no. By saying no to a flawed election, the electorate has demonstrated their voice. But we mustn’t stop there. If we let our eyes off the goal for one second, our ODM and PNU “leaders” will increase their salaries and revert to all the things we had hoped change will bring.

    I am happy to see that the civil society through groups such as CCP are getting more engaged in the Affairs of the country and not leaving them to the political class.

    Bottomline, unless we have sustained pressure on the leadership, we’ll be right where we left off on Dec 27th.

  • Anon

    Ory, Sorry for the disgust you feel right now. But I believe now that you can truly appreciate the DEPTH of YOUR efforts to share VITAL up to the minute reporting from the ground when you were back home in Dec. I believe that you probably didn’t think much of your actions but to the thousands of us who logged on every half hour to your blog it was a true breath of fresh air. With all that being said, I won’t go into my long praise but I just want to acknowledge your efforts. THANK YOU!!!!!!! PEACE

  • InSidious

    We must look at the general Editing and the role of stakeholders in the media. It’s simple to generalize journalism and indeed in most cases, ‘tarbloidism’ is not immune to the arrangement that free press.

    What is apparent, especially in Kenya where management boards manipulate control irrespective of core industry values, what can a low level employee, journalist of civil servant do in the event boardroom preference prevail upon the necessary?

    It boils down to aspects of management and that of unconditional bottom line that in many cases evades the necessary oversight. Kenya’s weak institutions and the old-boy mentality has a lot to do with everything from the cost of milk, to what you read in the newspapers. KTN, in my opinion has on point, again and again defied boardroom manipulation to report what is news. Funny enough, to the benefit of the bottom line.

    Kenya has a long way to go and the sooner we are home with certain realities, then we will continue to entertain a cavalier approach to journalism. It must be made clear to the stakeholders especially through oversight institutions, that responsible journalism is not devoid of factual journalism, whomever it exposes. The Managing Editors, Board & Partisan preferences has a lot to do with the quality and not the actual journalist.

  • Kivulu

    Keguro, I totally agree. The EAStandard is a tabloid, no rarely, but rather always. Their articles are sophomoric and shallow. It is a pity that we have to read that paper. To be fair, Nation is only slightly better. These journalists cannot write or maybe its the 8-4-4 = 0 system of education.

    For better news coverage (although with a western tint) I read the New York Times or Washington Post.

  • sam dc

    InSidious, I could not have put it any better. These so called leaders and the so called journalists, all of them, have their heads stuck in wrong places !!!

  • The Drew

    i have always asked myself why I can never go beyond the headlines while reading the two papers. Like Kiviulu mentioned, I also turn to NYT for kenyan news. it is pathetic that kenyans in the blogosphere do a far much better job in reporting news even when they recycle what they get online and you cannot just blame the editorial staff. The fundamentals are non-existent.

  • NonPulsed

    Actually whenever I come home it is glaring. I can have very intelligent conversations with relatives and friends, and then I open the newspaper… The newspapers seem to be caught in a time warp. Don’t even get me started for what passes as business news.

    On another side, I was reading about an article of the Turkish artists working on a national dialogue. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/11/world/europe/11turkey.html
    I am sure there are some small efforts like this in Kenya, maybe in due time their stories will be told, and the conversation will become about Kenyan lives.

  • Chez


    I’m guessing you did not go through thr 8-4-4 system, otherwise then you’d also be considering yourself an empty debe. It’s an insult to all of us who were educated under 8-4-4 system. I am proud say that I’m not a genius, but neither am I a danda-head. The Nation and Standard may have their faults, but they are ours, Kenyan, and it’s only through our feedback rather than fruitless complaining, that they will improve. We’ve got to express our displeasure in a constructive way and keep them on their toes, period. That talk of 8-4-4=0 is a non-starter in my opinion.

  • rateng

    You write: “And this is the profession that supposed to play a critical role in helping Kenyans make sure that the politicians stick to their end of the bargain?”

    Unfortunately, the big shots that run the newspapers are not concerned about human rights, justice, etc. They are only concerned about “news” that sells the paper and makes their bottom line swell. And news that other people bribe them to squeeze into the paper or misreport or altogether leave off. Having completed an internship at Nation some years ago–an establishment I had held in high regard–I was hastily disabused of all such notions. They don’t care. They will only play at caring when it rakes in cash. Journalists who care fall by the wayside. In fact, one of my pet peeves during my internship was seeing my grammar mangled after our pieces were “edited.” I especially felt the pinch when my name appeared atop a badly written piece, causing those who knew me to ask, “What’s up with that?”

    We’ll have to look elsewhere for someone to champion our causes. Most likely, we have to do it ourselves.

  • Wambugu

    Whatever happened to Kenya!!