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.




Thursday, 6 November 2014


Journalism and Mathematics in Kenya are at best suspicious acquaintances, or at worst sworn enemies. That's why it at times gets so hard to understand a news story involving numbers. Yes, your forte is dealing with words, but as a journalist, you need to get over any disappointing maths grades from yore, and be able to crunch numbers. Failure to do so can lead to editorial embarrassments.

The article above is premised on deficient numerical skills. Something has gone terribly wrong with the conversion of US dollars into Kenya shillings.

It's not a very 'complex' calculation, like say:

Unfortunately for the reader, the writer generously uses a heavily bloated figure, erroneously arrived at, to buttress the rest of the article and subsequently make an impossible analogy with the cost of constructing the Thika Super Highway.

But something more worrying catches the eye, other than the millions masquerading as billions, in the estimation of the article's author.

If this kind of writing is coming from a supposed senior person in a newsroom, what is to be expected of the overall standards in that media outlet?

So, it's no surprise that a very accomplished Kenyan can be described as a, 'Board of Trustee'!

Hey, people, and here I was thinking, "The best things in life are free."

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