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Comparing Daily Nation vs The Standard: Wednesday Dec 7, 2016

By David Mwenda

So this morning the country is still in disarray, at least for the health sector.

The story has continued to dominate the news cycle and has been highlighted by different media houses. It is my job to look at how these media houses are going about their business in covering the health story and many others.

I will be looking at how the Daily Nation, Kenya’s leading paper, compares with its rival The Standard in various areas. For this purpose I’ll be referring to the editions being sold in Nairobi.

The Daily Naition has 52 pages plus an 8-page DN2 insert while The Standard is packaged in 44 pages with a 12-page insert — the Wednesday Life magazine.

The Standard’s top story is on the health sector (that needs no guessing) with their headline being: UhuRuto mum as strike talks stall.

They are highlighting the effects of the health strikes. They managed to get pictures on the disheartening situations that have been brought about by this situation. The story that has touched me most that of three patients who have died due to this strike.

Another top story is the is that of the super alliance that is likely to be formed by the Raila Odinga and Musalia Mudavadi. It is set to be the biggest coalition made so far since 2002’s NARC coalition which was able to dethrone Kanu.

The Standard has been keen on the story and have given it a lot of interest and has been keen on working on the coalition’s agenda which is to end a corrupt regime.

This was the best story in The Standard for me. It analyses how the two teamsare working together and even shows the possible outcome of the ‘Super Alliance’ which I am waiting to see if it take the country by storm come next year.

The Standard also highlighted the Uhuru’s tour in Ukambani. The paper decided cover the story with political lenses. It comes out as if Uhuru was there for a rally while in fact the President was there to open up projects such as the Kibwezi-Mutomo-Kitui-Kabati-Migwani road and the completion of the Umaa Dam in Kitui.

Over to the Daily Nation. Their headline for the day was: “Hospitals becoming factories of death, pain”.

This story catches your attention from the start. I think this was my best story so far in the Daily Nation. They have used the people approach — focusing on the how people are really suffering and also how the government is contributing to this problem.

They have really done a good job showing the Kenyan people and government officials that the health industry is really in disarray and much should be done.

Their story on a health worker whose mother died because of the strike on page 2 was the winner for me. It really got me sympathising with the different people affected by the strike and I think Daily Nation did a good job highlighting that.

They have also focused on the Uhuru tour of Kalonzo’s home turf. However, they have decided to cover the story by spinning it to be more development-minded than political but they still give it a political touch because event the President and his deputy gave it a political tone by urging people to avoid tribal politics and embrace ideologies.

Another top story is that of the emerging national super alliance formed Mudavadi and Raila. They chose to use focus on the event that was there which was at the Storm resort in Laikipia North instead of the technicalities of this so called super alliance and there I have to give them a low score as opposed to Standard which analyzed this story.

Another story that caught my eye is the international news section which focused on the Trump presidency. China is quoted as saying trump is using Twitter to run the country.

I agree. This guy spends too much time on Twitter and I still wonder how he won anyway.

However, that’s not the story. Nation focused on how China is taking a neutral stand when it comes to policy and them forging a bilateral agreement with the two countries. Chinese leaders seem to know how to handle Trump and I think they can show this tactics to other countries.

If you are wondering which paper you should have bought I think you already know my opinion. You should have got the Daily Nation for it has interesting stories.

Image credit: physics.stackexchange.com

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