Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Balancing Acts, a challenge to media owners...

I will keep it short.

Over the past few days I have read a number of blogs about the Kenyan Media conspiring to sign up to a push for peace other than report, question and be the citizen’s watch dog, before during and after the General Elections of March 4th.

Some of the articles border on disgust towards the peace messages that were circulated across the country, other than focus on what the writers call “the bigger issues”. I wish to say that without peace, the deep issues that Kenya needs to deal with can never be achieved.

An article I read during the Easter weekend talked about the passion that journalists had during the Moi regime, where they were even jailed, they took part in riots and questioned the regime.

That was when most of us chose our careers. They were tough, they asked the hard questions and they got answers. They provoked, and they played a big role in shaping Kenya’s democracy.

But the world has changed since the rulebook of journalism was written. How the war against graft and corruption was fought then was different from how it is fought now. Dialogue has taken over teargas, rocks, whips and riots, and the fourth estate has evolved as a consequence, and perhaps the hunger to break news has disappeared along with that.

The 2013 elections provided a critical lesson media owners to build their capacity to ask questions that matter. To invoke upon our consciences a need to delve deeper into matters that Kenyans care about or should know about.

I agree that is a huge gap today in analyses and investigative reporting that marked the 80’s and 90’s, and that Journalists of today do not hold a candle to the scribes of yester years, I wrote about Thought Leadership in journalism a few months ago, and following the events of the elections, now more than ever do we need mentorship.

As we debate the thin line about a fearful press, let us remember that the sequence of events involves a healthy dose of peace. A revolution does not have to be bloody. That’s my take and I’m sticking with it.

Over to media owners, Thought Leadership is a lesson in progress.