A look into the fake news debate started by NTV’s Wicked Edition of Feb 21

By David Mwenda
Fake news is constantly a huge problem that has been facing the country and the world over. It has been an issue that has been associated with every side of the media both the mainstream and the gutter media as it is popularly referred to. Most media houses are now constantly faced with the problem of looking for news and the speed at which they put them up is what matters to them.

On the Wicked Edition on Tuesday, fake news the agenda of the show and I had to agree with some of the issues that Dr King’ori brought up on the show and how he made sure we know about fake news. He mentioned that we as Kenyans are most affected by the issue of fake news and how they are reported. So here are the main issues I borrowed from the show and what I agreed with on the show.

Media failing to check stories
The media is a very lot trying to get the news before they break and reporting to us to inform us on what is going to happen. However for some it is not about the truth it’s about the story. The story can be juicy but how often are we willing to fact check the stories and make sure we have been doing the story. The media should be ready to give us the story from credible stories and not giving stories for ratings. This is the story for many blogs and they fail to verify the stories and making the victims left vulnerable to people who will go on to blast them.

How do they get the stories?
The sources of the stories are sometimes very questionable and leave the reader or people questioning whether the story is really true or its just rumors being downplayed by the media and blog. One story that has been constantly on my mind was on the sudden announcement of Brenda Wairimu’s death late last week. The source of the story was allegedly ran when she was in the USA and when she opens her Instagram she finds condolence messages for her “sudden death”. She had to respond in order to shut down the story and give people a reason to not be worried about her again.

The credibility of the story should be up top especially for blogs and should be scrutinized by the blogs themselves and ask for comment from the affected person before running the stories. For Mr. Majani of Ghafla he did confirm that some of the stories they had run had been false on the wicked edition which begs the question: what do they do about it after they have run the story? Shouldn’t they be made accountable if they have run a false story or even apologize?

Social media element
The rise and rise of social media has seen to it being a challenge to media houses. However social media has also been a constant source to media reports and stories. I agree that some stories need to be broken down to the public. The public should be made aware of what s happening in the inter webs but the media should be very choosy on the stories they run. For example most of the stories which are allegedly been run on the Trump presidency are based on his tweets.

He has gone to attack the media for fake stories even on twitter. Social media has been considered a powerful tool but will it kill proper media reporting and how we view it? The media should work hard to make sure they have the relevant stories and have confirmed the stories as true even as it breaks on social media.


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