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Friday 25 January 2008

Kenya: where is the BBC?

Here's today's BBC Online headline:

And here's Kenya's headline:

More about the troop movements on Siasa Duni's blog and others.

Very little continuing political analysis about Kenya on the BBC's site, although this was published on Monday.

Note the author. Let's hear more from him. Keep the star reporters at home (less carbon miles for one thing).

It is right to report the violence but not when that's the whole story and the impression is left that it's solely 'tribal' or little explanation is given.

BBC Online has the vastness of scale to do way, way more to report what's happening or - at minimum - link to it. There's not even cross links to their other huge resource, the World Service, which has specialists.

I don't think their coverage lives up to their responsibilities and, given their resources, is pretty pathetic.


More background from the Kenyan blogosphere:

· Very interesting post about division and 'dobbing-in' to authorities in the diaspora and how Kibaki backers are using the web to, amongst other things, say that Raila Ondinga is funded by Al Qaeda.

· Never mind the BBC, the same author has no time for the efforts of Kenyan MSM:

For the rest of their lives, Kenyans will have a healthy skepticism for the media. As of January 2008, Kenya will have the largest number of healthy media critics ever known. Why? Media personalities, such as Mildred Ngesa, Catherine Kasavuli and Carole Mandi, people that Kenyans looked up to, have turned out to be fickle and unprincipled. As it strived to cheapen its stories, the Kenyan media as a whole was cheapened. They allowed Michuki (Minister and loud Kibaki backer - very like the Zimbabwean tyke, Information Minister, Jonathan Moyo) to cello-tape their mouths. They cannot call themselves journalists. It is not enough for them to come out on national TV and emotionally say that they are forming a group because “Somewhere, the story has been lost.” If the true story has been lost, then it is because they were asleep while they were supposed to be telling it. I venture to surmise, however, that the true story is alive and well, because Kenyan bloggers have come out and done the job that the Kenyan news media is supposed to do. Kenyan journalists should be ashamed of themselves. They have let Kenya down. Many people now trust Kumekucha more than they trust their regular dailies. [Kumekucha says: Kofi Annan appears to have waved his MAGIC wand and viola all Kenyans are ululating with bliss. )

Kenyans who never cared much about media personalities have had their attention rudely drawn to the fact that their newspapers and televisions might not be giving them the whole story. Circumstances have forced Kenyans to begin to ask themselves what might be written between the lines; what is not being told; what the purpose is, for what is being told. This is very healthy, because it will hopefully bring a sense of accountability to the media. Pretty soon, people will begin to ask questions. How could Ugandan soldiers venture into Kenya undetected? Why did I have to read a blog to find out about a woman whose daughter was raped in the Rift Valley?


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