The Kenyan media has been criticized more than a few times as more business oriented than ethical oriented. It has been said that it doesn’t matter what is publicized as long as its traceable and can sell. There are two recent issues to speak about. One, I will dig deep, the other is an ongoing investigation, we’ll just question.
Lately, the Kenyan media has revealed a long streak of reports about Covid-19 millionaires. On the business side of the pandemic, let’s be a bit realistic. The Kenyan media has trolled entrepreneurs who saw chances with the pandemic, let’s examine that first. The business-persons in question are the ones that saw an opportunity and went looking for cheaper Covid-19 preventative substances to accommodate the common Kenyan citizen who could not, for example, afford an NP5 mask that was costing KSH500 when the pandemic hit the country.
You can not actually blame the media. Most of them are employees who know nothing about entrepreneurship. In business, entrepreneurship scores for grasping opportunities when they appear.
And one stops to wonder, Mr. Journalist, would you go to a foreign country to buy something to come here and give it for free? If so, then make your articles free. Make your Newspapers free. Let your TVs and radios run adverts for free too.
Did the Kenyan Newspapers lower their prices to accommodate the tough financial dynamics of the Pandemic? Did the media lower their TV and Radio adverts rates? Seems like the self-proclaimed saints turned a blind eye towards their bedrooms.
Anything more than that is just pure nonsense. We know, the catchy the headline, the more the newspaper sells. You just have to manipulate facts a bit. It is also only fair to remember that the main stream media is losing parts of it’s historical ratios to the digital world. Things like newspapers and magazines are losing market. It is only keen to know that kicks of a dying horse are very dangerous. To survive, they can publicize anything.
To top it all, they waited until peope were dead broke to bring the issue up. They tapped into the emotional side of Kenyans looking for an outrage. They got what they wanted. They sold their articles, they added their viewership and maybe attained some accolades.
But, is it right? Is it ethical? Is it human? No, it’s not. In a country where we are used to being extorted by the police, it seems the Kenyan media has just joined the brigade pretending to be genuine.
Of course, the bucks in any country stops with the President. So when a scandal concerning millions come up, the president takes the blame. But one also asks, who is benefited by the scandal? Who stands to gain when the President is trolled indirectly?
By now, only one person stands to gain, The Deputy President.
So a question flies in, are the reports genuine or are they sponsored?
Did the so-called Covid-Millionaires help the country? Yes they did. When the corona virus hit Kenya, an NP5 mask was going for Ksh500, when entrepreneurs came in and competition went up, the mask sells at Ksh50. The masks have helped a great deal.
The measure whether the masks are genuine or not can only be measured by the Covid-19 positive cases. If the masks were not genuine, Kenya could have registered millions of Covid-19 cases. This does not dispute the fact there was a surge of fake masks made locally by the local tailors while others were imported.
The same case goes with sanitizers. The entrepreneurs helped mend a gap that could have brought disastrous times in the country. The sanitizers were selling at KSH3000 when the outbreak hit the country. Now they sell at anything between Ksh150 to Ksh500. That way, the common ‘mwananchi’ can afford a sanitizer and a mask to stay safe as he works to feed his family.
Commenting on the on-going expose’ of the grants and money for Covid-19 is not applicable for now. That would come after the investigations are over.
If the issue surrounding the IMF money and others is proved correct, the Kenyan media can enjoy a quarter of an accolade. If not, well, it’s always the business side of the media in play as usual.
The Kenyan Health CS has pointed out a few ways the Covid-19 funds are being used, among them being building accessible roads on heavily populated places and also ensuring water availability. Both of these are costly endeavors.
But what if it is all business?
- Can the Kenyan media apologize to Kenyans for breaking out non-factual news?
- The already in motion committee investigating the issue, it must be funded by the government. How many times have the Kenyan media incompetence caused losses to the country via pressurizing for such committees? Will the media apologize for that too?
- In the face of Media Freedom and Freedom of speech, what can Kenya as a country do to ensure such news don’t see the light of day? Freedom of speech does not mean bending facts to sell and increase viewership.
- Kenyans have complained before that they don’t watch the news to get depressed but be informed, what has the media done about this?
The media, being the forth pillar of a state and democracy, is a very crucial sector in a country. The ones working in the sector must come to facts that they stand right behind the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary. They should walk the part and act the part.