BY PETER ONDABU
Daily Nation was the last of Kenya’s leading media houses to break the news of Nairobi governor Mike Sonko nominating Miguna Miguna as his deputy governor, our analysis shows.
And it is emerging that they could have posted at 10pm Wednesday night like every other media house but NMG top editors decided to put it on ice because of the good old rule of verifying before publishing.
It was until 8:58 am on Thursday, nearly 12 hours since the news broke, that Nation tweeted for the first time about Sonko’s surprise move, after Nairobi speaker Beatrice Elachi had commented on the matter.
Did Sonko play all the Kenya media houses in one deft move?
The Star was the first to post about the nomination, which was at 10:13 pm on Wednesday. Then the other media houses joined in as the screenshots below show.
Standard – number 4/5. The story was up on their site by midnight Wednesday.
Star – number 1/5. They were the first to send an alert and to publish a story on the matter.
Citizen – number 3/5. They took longer to post online but their host Jeff Koinange had already shared the story to viewers.
Capital FM – number 2/5. They chose to retweet an unverified channel ‘Breaking News KE’ but that was their way of staying matching with the rest.
Nation – 5/5. They were the very last to tweet and to post a story online.
Nation’s rival, the Standard, appeared to have bought the story early in the day because it appeared in some print editions, meaning it was written before midnight on Wednesday.
We spoke with a Nation insider who said there were high level consultations on Wednesday night after which it was decided that until either Sonko or Miguna spoke about the matter personally, the report could be treated as unconfirmed. They were not ready to trust words from lawywers Cliff Ombeta and Nelson Havi, who have always claimed to represent Miguna.
Sometimes that helps; sometimes it doesn’t. Being the biggest media house, even myself I was looking forward to reading it at Nation before I could tell it was real. I refreshed their page a couple of times but nothing was forthcoming.
Now that Miguna has said it was all hot air, have all the Kenyan media been left with an egg on the face?
How did Nation feel when Elachi later denounced the letter by saying she had not received an official copy?
It was a really trying couple of hours for Kenyan media.