By David Mwenda
The cost of living is becoming increasingly high every coming day. This can be illustrated by a high rise in the prices of sugar, milk and maize flour (a staple food in many Kenyan homes). This has seen a shift in Kenyans lifestyles.
But this is what the media has been doing. It started off as a small campaign issue but it continued and it was then taken up and it has seen a lot of monitoring and has even moved to the public domain. This is what has caused a lot of problems in the public domain and it has caused a lot of outrage.
The media has been running stories from different angles. They have tried to make sure they have done their job. But their work has been fanning the rising cost of living and what the prices are there in the country.
This is where the media is missing out in their take. They have just been talking about the rising cost of living. Why not try to find out how this is coming about?
It is not fair that we just check the prices in the supermarket and stories of how people are struggling to make ends meet? Though the stories, try to make an appealing picture to the government and traders to at least be lenient they seem not to be working at all for anyone.
It is important for the media to try and get to the bottom of things. For instance William Ruto sent a tweet to tell people that the rise of the cost of living has been caused by external factors. No one from the media has bothered to check the facts and make sure they have seen what these external factors are.
The common mwananchi failed to understand what is meant by what is meant by the term External factors. This is the thing that the media is constantly missing. They fail to get the real story and only follow political anecdotes and tweets and make fun of this.
Behind the PR, what is the underlying story?
Editors are faced with the hard task of trying to make sure they get the right story. This is why they are constantly unable to not know when to run the PR and when to get the real story out there. The Jubilee government has had a powerful machine which is always spinning stories and is trying to keep the public to its side.
The heavy investment at times paid off and at times it back fired in them. On the cost of living it is a half wins and half loses for them. I say this because they have managed to look like they are in control. First were the reassurances by the president in his state of the nation address. He pointed out the growth of the economy and how the people are willing to invest in the country. Then when this backfired they went on to have a reassurance in the budget speech by the CS for Finance.
However recently the media seemed to have taken a lot of issue by highlighting the prices and how Wanjiku seems to be struggling to make ends meet in the long run. It is time the media stepped off the theatrics and made sure they have done their job perfectly.