When screen shots become news items

Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko with his deputy Polycarp Igathe, his wife Catherine Igathe joins gospel artist Jemimah Thion'go in praise after they were sworn in at Uhuru Park on August 21, 2017. Photo/Jack Owuor

Sonko and Igathe during Inauguration Day at Uhuru Park 

The Star found itself on the wrong side of Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko. The story which went in depth and cast a lot of aspersions of how the county government has been taken over by State House and has been facing a lot of State House influence. The story which went on to say that Igathe and Sonko had had a fall out and that he rarely goes to City Hall but stays at his private office at Lillian Towers.

Mike Sonko was quick to reply and he was not kind in his reply. He was quick to point out the good relationship he has with his deputy in the best way people do nowadays SCREEEN SHOTS. He released a series of them to prove them wrong.

one of the many screenshots released by Sonko

From then a dozen of news papers picked up the story and have crafted the message depending on the way they view the issue.

The first angle the media would have looked at this is through the he said she said angle. There is the story ran by the star with trusted sources from the inside of City Hall and State House. These sources though unknown can be quoted as trusted source. The he said she said situation comes in though the release of the screenshots by Nairobi Governor. The screen shots which come to clear out any problems is something that is very hard to ignore. He comes out as very defensive and is very straight forward about how he runs the city.

The problem for the media is fact checking this screenshots. The context in which they were taken from also needs to be known. Are there some messages that are missing? Have some been deleted not to tint the image of the Governor? How sure are we that there is nothing was left out that is the main question that I have.

The rise of social media affected this story as Sonko used his social media handles to release the screen shots. This did not give time to the media to analyze and fact check the data he had provided. He was sure that the story would have taken some time before it was published.

The story by the Star also has some questionable facts that were left unattended. For instance the very fact that Sonko was not given the chance to comment raises eye brows. His deputy also does not come into play also which questions the angle of the story and what they wanted to do with the story.

It was important to have them come in even on back ground to give the story a meaning. The role of screenshots in public matters comes in place. Most of the time they have done they come in stories that have been done in the entertainment world by blogs such as Mpasho but it will be interesting to see what mainstream media would do and whether they will be using this for stories.


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