If you feel a news story does not measure up to expected journalistic standards, bring it to the Journalism Dry Cleaner. Through our collective wisdom, we will strip it of all offensive dirt.




Sunday, 27 March 2011


Few people can openly purchase a pack of condoms with a straight face. So it perhaps takes a little while to be convinced that a fully grown man allowed himself to be captured on TV, while washing a supposedly used condom, for recycling, i.e. re-using.

But that clip, followed by an admission by the Kenyan government that there was a condom shortage in the country, thrust this 'taboo' subject into some rare public limelight.

Powered by the amazing Storify application, I managed to compile a sample of comments, commentaries and general media coverage on this issue.

I wouldn't be too quick to repeat that, matters sexuality, are still taboo in the Kenyan society.

Saturday, 19 March 2011


Kicking someone, while they are on the ground  is universally derided. Yet Kenya's Medical Services minister, Prof. Anyang' Nyong'o invited criticism, when he opted to talk politics instead of responding to critical issues of an ailing government hospital.

Hardly a week had passed after the story of Nyong'o's battle with Prostrate Cancer was the subject of a Citizen TV news feature.

And on his return from America, where he had gone to seek 'the best' available treatment, the minister had pledged to help revamp the provision of medical care in the country, although his main thrust was the need for a national social health insurance policy.

So one would naturally have expected Nyong'o to maintain that momentum, especially in the wake of the shocking story of an overstretched and understaffed Kiambu Districts Hospital.

The allure of fighting political battles with perceived enemies however, perhaps became too strong for the Medical Services minister, such that he could comfortably call a press conference to discuss ODM party affairs at the Health Ministry head offices.

And to make matters worse, when a question was posed to him about the sorry state of the hospital in Kiambu, he brushed it aside and said  he had only planned to discuss political matters on that particular day.

Trust a politician to elevate politics over a life and death issue for many citizens, never mind their medical welfare is a significant part of Anyang' Nyong'o's ministerial docket.

The clause requiring government ministers not to be elected politicians, should perhaps have been effected immediately after the new Constitution was promulgated.

Thursday, 10 March 2011


It has become a common feature on all morning shows in major television stations in Kenya. A review of the day's newspapers. But just how much revelation is too much? At times one completely loses the motivation to purchase a paper, after sitting through a newspaper review on TV.

The general feel of what is on offer in the dailies is much appreciated, at times the details are unleashed with careless abandon to the point of discouraging one from wanting to purchase the physical newspaper.

It even gets worse, when the studio hosts literally embark on extracting the stories on a page by page basis, followed by a remarkably detailed discussion of the same, never mind the fact that the interpretation at times is a bit suspect.

True, it could be argued that not many people have the capacity to buy a newspaper on a regular basis and so the information they get from the television newspaper reviews is all they get to have.

But is that reason enough to deny those who can, the satisfaction of fully enjoying the actual printed stories, once they get their hands on their favourite daily?

Imagine if a film review is to give away the entire plot of a movie. How many people would feel compelled to want to catch the flick later?

Good film reviews give skeletal details, which on the contrary is essentially used to spur more interest in the movie being reviewed. That, I think, should be the approach taken by broadcasting stations.

There is no harm of course, in picking out particular stories for analysis and even inviting knowledgeable people to give their personal opinions, the stress being on personal, similar to what BBC usually does.

Of particular interest is the fact that the local newspaper publishers never seem to mind the way the content of their papers is dished out in copious amounts during the early morning television shows. This is just when many of them would ordinarily expect buyers to purchase the same newspapers.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011


What exactly constitutes hate speech in Kenya? Whereas Kenya's 
Finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta has been roundly criticized for his outbursts, especially after they were given prominence in the mainstream media, the same cannot be said of public pronouncements by Prime minister Raila Odinga.

Much as Raila's remarks probably fall under the same realm of abusive and potentially divisive utterances, they somehow didn't seem to interest the local media, as much as Uhuru's coarse comments.

Again, using the power of Storify to aggregate some of the reactions about the Prime minister's speeches, it nevertheless emerges there are those, who feel Raila too, has on a number of occasions been out of line.