The media is once again setting the right agenda for public debate

One of the most important roles of the media is to set the agenda for public debate, but the Kenyan media has for a long time been focusing on politics making us wonder if that is all we will ever talk about in this country.

The last few days has seen a big shift as far as stories given prominence in the local media are concerned. On Sunday night NTV ran a story titled: “stolen childhood” and within seconds of the story going on air every social network that Kenyans are signed to was alive with discussions on how we can protect our children.

Last night a story by Citizen TV on Monday Night Live about access to sanitary towels by school going girls sparked a huge debate on social media even before it was aired. The comments criticized priorities of the Jubilee government and their ability to respond to Kenyan’s most critical needs.

KTN also started a week-long series “Hands off our elephants” which is part of the #HandsOffOurElephants conservation campaign that is gaining a huge momentum in social media circles. By the time of publishing this piece, #HandsOffOurElephants is the number three trending topic on twitter.

It is a good thing to see a change in the daily rhetoric controlled by the fourth estate. Using their ability to change opinions and spur public debate on issues of importance to the Kenyan public is worth commending. This should however not be a “once in a blue moon” thing but the norm.

Hats off to the Kenyan media, may the new trend continue.

                                            Follow me on Twitter @IamOminde

 

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