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Thursday, 1 December 2016

THE TWO FACES OF KENYAN MEDIA

That the Kenyan economy is bleeding jobs in the thousands is hardly disputable. That tens of thousands of families could be in distress after the retrenchment of breadwinners is an almost certainty. And a section of the local media did well to highlight this grave issue. But why paint this gloomy picture about affected sectors and leave out the media industry? Kenyan media has two faces!


- Fact: Many journalists have been sacked in the last two or more years.

Question: Are they immune to the shock and desperation that often go hand in hand with job losses?

- Fact: The media has done a good job of capturing stories of economic hardships resulting from lost means of earning a livelihood.

Question: Can the media be cognisant of the sufferings of former employees, and accord them the same coverage as those dismissed by other companies?


- Fact: Reducing profits and shrinking revenues have forced many companies to reduce their workforce, and there's ample coverage of this in the media.

Question: Isn't it hypocritical of the local media to identify with the plight of retrenched workers and not appear to be pained by the tribulations of those it renders jobless?

- Fact: Analysis of various industries in Kenya show many companies are operating in difficult or challenging environments, leading to the shedding of jobs.


Question: Can data be compiled to show which local media houses are in distress and how many journalists have been laid off, and the findings published in the media?

- Fact: Stories abound in the media of how some enterprises in Kenya are doing away with experienced but highly paid employees to manage costs, and hiring fresh talent on contract.

Question: Is it possible to see a critique of the popular practise in the local media of recruiting fresh graduates and underpaying them, while overworking them, after sacking experienced hands?

Another Question: Don't you now agree that Kenyan media has two faces?

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