Take-home points from Press Pass on NTV on Feb 20

By David Mwenda
This discussion has been one that has elicited debate on the authoritativeness of our media reports and how they report the news. It is a matter that brought a lot of alarm to all people in Kenya who had mobile phones you and me included. Press Pass had the discussion on Monday night. From the show a few things came up that I would like to talk about on this blog post today so her is what I borrowed:
There was a misunderstanding in the story
It was the one thing that stood out for me on the show. There was a very different perspective on how the show and how they reported the stories. On the one hand the CAK makes it look like they are not going to be spying on us while separate media housed ran stories on how they had candidly made the statements that that is what they were planning on doing. The show brought out this confusion so well and I have to appreciate Mark for bringing about the confusion between both sides.

Was it a spinning game?
Every side is allowed to present its facts but it was obvious there are two sides of the coin and both wanted to make it look like it was a spinning game they were playing. On one hand the side there is the government’s side trying to defend itself and making it seem like something that they should be doing. On the other hand we have the civil society and consumer protection association which wanted to protect the consumers by asking why the government was doing this right now. The story now became a spinning game and it had so many angles that you couldn’t follow one at a time without getting yourself confused in the process.

Did the media ask how this statement would work?
Though I am complaining that it had become a spinning game because of the way the media was running its story then it begs the question did the media inform? The media gave us a story of the government was preparing to spy on us and the company that had been hired to do it. Then again they did not ask how the system would work and that is where the confusion came about. Due to not fishing for the right details and this is where tech journalists come and dumb down the information and get to search for the appropriate information.

Should the media be responsible for the confusion?
The media has been putting out the information that has been doing more damage than good on this story and though they brought out the story they should have really worked hard on their angles and made sure they have the right information. They should really have focused on the stories on how the system would work and whether the government was really spying on us. The government should also have ignored playing the spinning game and come clean with the facts instead of bringing us a few facts and leaving the rest for the media to figure for themselves.


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