The media was front and centre on releasing issues to do with police reforms this week. But the coverage, though given the priority by most media houses, has not been done properly.
The police in Kenya have a history of being violent and using excessive force on subjects when it comes to solving any issues. For instance many reports have come out to show the nature of the police during election season. For instance the killing of Baby Pendo in Kisumu which brought out the brute force used by policemen in calming riots and protests is just but an example of the police use excessive force.
The said police reforms seemed to be ignored by the media in their coverage. They chose to look at the failed housing system for police and how the police have long suffered and how they will get housing allowance (well, at least for junior officers).
The media has also focused on the new uniform which has caused a lot of controversy and memes on social media for the large pockets they have. Many of police have been accused of taking bribes and the size of pockets being a big boost for “business”. This however did not feature in their feedback where they sample feedback from netizens.
The media however missed the big picture of the whole coverage. Though they highlighted the changes, they did not highlight the rationale of the strategic report launch. The taskforce report has also not been analysed by any media house as of now. The contents of the report have not been released — which causes a lot of alarm.
The media has, however, focused on the highlights of the report. For instance in a report Stella Cherono of the Nation highlighted the changes in staff made in the course of the reforms.
It is a matter around which we are still looking out for more detailed coverage.
It remains a mystery whether the report will be analysed on whether it is legal or not, and whether or not it is going to help the police.
If I were to grade the media for their work right now, I would give a 5/10. Yes, we know there are reforms. Yes, we know there is a report but still there are a lot of missing links in the story which need to filled. This is something that needs to be done when it comes to analysing the story on reforms.