The Kenyan media had a tough time in running stories during the just concluded general elections. Though most stations did their best in order to give “wall to wall coverage of the news some were downright unprofessional and used a lot of inflammatory language.
According to a study done by Peace Pen Communications some media stations went ver and above to create stories which were biased and unethical content generally. This was caught generally by a blog post done by Michael Wainaina who was running for president. He goes into depth of how the Kenyan media was not ready to run stories which were objective to the Kenyan people and only focused on political fires and promoting propaganda on the two elections.
For instance the use of fake news was through a story run by Nation News where Jimi Wanjigi apparently responded with a tweet after an expose that was written by the Daily Nation. The Twitter account which was proven to be fake and did not belong to Jimi Wanjigi the Nation however did not own up to this piece and kept on using the story without any editorial correction.
Some media stations proved to be taking sides. This was seen during the release of manifestos. The Standard Newspaper where they ran 11 pages of the Jubilee Administration and only gave half a page for the NASA manifesto. On the other hand very little was taken into consideration with media houses running the PDU Delivery adverts which were taken to be illegal even by a court justice ruling which came in late after the election.
The wrong choice of headlines was also a course of concerns during the electioneering period. For instance during the coverage of the post voting period the Nation run a story with the headline Mother beats son in hotly contested Bomet East Parliamentary race. The story was not only sensational but it was also a very misleading story.
Vernacular radio stations were as unethical and unprofessional. These were the statements made by one of the presenters on Kameme FM.
“Andῦ a nyῦῦmbaiitῦ, mwarekereriaῦthamakiῦthiῖmwῖroreire o ma o ma. Mwarekarῦῦrῖrῖrῦtunyῦkith ioῦthamakinῖndῦῦrῖrῖ? Nῖmῦῦῖandῦayanῖmatwῖhῖtῖire? Ta mwῖyandῖkithieikwaῦingῖndamῦthaithatῦco okieῦhurutῦrangῖreῦthamakinatῦgitῖrerῦῦrῖrῖ”
“The people of the house [of Mῦmbi] , have you let our kingdom be taken from us as you sit by and watch, really? You are letting leadership be snatched from us by alien tribes? Don’t you know that these people have sworn [to finish us]? Register in large numbers as voters I beg you we return Uhuru we secure the [Gῖkῦyῦ] kingdom, and defend our tribe”.
These statements were one of the very few made by radio presenters in vernacular radio stations. There was little that was done regarding the elections. There was a lot of bile being spitted out by vernacular media stations. This bile was never checked by the Communications Authority or the Media Council of Kenya who had promised strict checking of the media.
This was just a few things that the media did not look into and it was very sensational, biased and unbalanced in the way they ran the stories.