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.




Wednesday, 26 February 2014


Kenyan media outlets often feel the need to rebrand or relaunch. If there's value addition, then the audience is bound to appreciate the changes. But is it really necessary to drastically change the way news is delivered? Opinions should never be disguised as factual news elements, in the name of a new horizon in news delivery. Go back to basics and give us pure news.

It has now become acceptable to start a news bulletin with a lengthy introduction of studio guest, complete with their profiles and career high points. Have news headlines gone that down the rundown pecking order?

Journalism as a function, is primarily designed to hep disseminate information, in an objective a manner as possible, and to allow the audience to draw its own conclusions.

And whereas interpretation is always welcome in news delivery, it should not be taken to the level of forcing the audience to partake of the news, through the eyes and at times 'no brainer' minds of a pre-selected panel.

There's certainly no harm in getting analysts to help the audience understand issues. But a news bulletin anchored on analysis, at the expense of the day's news, tends to deplete the available attention span.

Think about the agony of the sports fan, waiting for a segment that has been inconveniently placed towards the end of the news.

It also beats logic, for media house to be so agreeable to hosting the same news sources or guests, in spite of the fact that the same 'attention seekers' have already made appearances in one or two other stations, and 'exhaustively' generated more than enough noise about the same subject.

To make matters worse, these, so called opinion shapers and custodians of expert views, have been known to mostly generate heated but not enlightening debates.

But such is the extent of the local media's gullibility, that falsehoods and inaccuracies will be readily circulated without any serious or even professional interrogation.

So, it's only days later that the audience gets to learn about simple truths, like the real status of the man that is fighting hard to continue answering to the title of 'Embu County Governor'.

Again, I say. Newsrooms should go back to the basics. Give us a hefty serving of pure news, spiced with analytical condiments, not blase analysis.

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