Wednesday, February 3, 2010

MEDIA SHOULD STOP THE BIAS

The role of the print and electronic media in educating and informing Kenyans cannot be underestimated. However, there is a growing trend by these very media which is biased to specific groups in the Kenyan society. To consistently continue to focus on what politicians say and not what they do or have failed to do for the electorates who gave them a mandate to Parliament is not fair. I challenge the media to come out of the trend of splashing television screens and newspaper headlines with personalities even when what they’re talking is irrelevant. Being an election year, we expect the media to prepare score cards based on the performance of the members of parliament Kenyans elected in 2002. This is the surest way to put to light the failures and achievements of our leaders in order to give the Kenyan voters a chance to weigh options for change of leadership and vice versa. The media should focus on what elected MPs have done on funds earmarked for developing the constituency like: constituency development fund (CDF), the roads levy, local government trust fund (LATF) and education bursaries for needy high school students. They should also highlight the plight of the farmers. I beg the media to make a visit to Gucha district, Where I come from especially Bobasi constituency and see for themselves the current state of the roads and other areas in the constituency. As a contender for MP on a Narc Kenya ticket, we were ashamed two months ago when a convoy of vehicles with honourable Danson Mungatana, from Nyamira enroute to Sameta stadium for a rally found that the road linking Kilgoris to Kisii town was totally impassable. I expected the journalists to put this to light so that the MPs from the area can take responsibility. The other key area the media should focus on is giving coverage to new entrants into politics especially before the general elections. One doesn’t need to be famous in order to be given coverage if the ideas he/she want to ventilate is relevant for the general good of this country. There are those with diverse & fruitful ideas who would like their voices to be heard but the media continues to give them a black out due to name recognition. It’s true those who are rarely heard can have wonderful ideas and the only way to do so is to have the media give such people a chance. I recently walked into one of the famous FM stations in Kenya to request for participation in one of their programs but I was shocked with the response I got from the ladies on the front desk. After an intense argument, they gave me the e-mail addresses of two moderators of the program of which I emailed immediately. It’s surprising that I have never gotten any response from the two moderators just because of name recognition. I urge the media to conduct an intensive investigation on the working conditions of many Kenyans especially in the mushrooming supermarket chains in the country, domestic workers and the export processing zones (EPZ) outlets. It’s shocking that a famous supermarket chain in Eldoret pays workers per week with no benefits and lunch breaks even when the chain is expanding rapidly to the major towns in the Country including Nairobi and Kisumu cities. Joseph Lister Nyaringo Bobasi, Gucha District
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