Dear Managing Editors, Editors and Reporters
I am writing to you to show my concern about a trend that is worrying something that is of concern to me and indeed millions of Kenyans – your coverage of the political campaigns especially with regards to the coming presidential elections.
I know that you are all aware of the enormous task you have of shaping public opinion and my worry is you are doing it the wrong way. I really hope that you read my other post “Time we demanded more from our media.”
In that particular post, I expressed my fears that you are deliberately misleading Kenyans when it comes to choosing the country’s next CEO.
As I am writing you this letter, one of the presidential candidates Prof. James Ole Kiyapi has fromaly written to the Media Council expressing concern about the same.
“Am protesting in the strongest terms possible, the bias, unpatriotic and very unjust manner in which the Kenya Media is handling my Presidential Campaigns. Are we saying money is what will decide quality and character of leaders in Kenya? Are we saying the message I gave to Kenyans on Friday on National Unity, youth unemployment, vision 2030, national security, food security, environment etc are noth worth analyzing?”, he says in the letter addressed to Media Council of Kenya Chairman Mr. Levi Obonyo.
I really understand how a capitalist society like ours work – “willing buyer, willing seller” but I think that you owe your audiences and readers a fair review of the political landscape.
What happened to the journalistic principles of balance, fairness, accuracy and objectivity?
As I am writing this I am thinking about my grandmother in Otonglo whose only source of information is what she hears on radio or watches on tv and she like many other Kenyans are relying on the media to provide them with information that they will use to determine who they vote for.
So when you give CORD and JUBILEE alliances 20 minutes of your airtime then give RBK, NARC-KENYA 60 seconds, where is the fairness there?
To my grandmother she only knows the choice she’ll be making will be between JUBILEE and CORD because that is what you tell her.
Even more worrying is that you don’t talk about the policies these groups are campaigning on … it is all about wrangles and defections and insults….where are the issues?
You owe Kenyans a balanced coverage….especially when it comes to issues and these parties’ development agenda. You need to start interrogating our politicians on their development plans for this country not just airing their rhetoric. That is what Kenyans should vote on.
I won’t take much of your time because I know you are preparing for the evening news, so maybe today would be a great day to start focussing on issues and give Kenyans a balanced, objective and fair coverage of today’s events.
Back to our capitalist society point – we as your audience are no longer willing to accept what you are selling. We want more from you.
Follow me on twitter @OmindeNiMimi
UKABILA NI UJINGA