By Wahome Thuku
I HAVE done a good number of years in what is called conventional, main stream media. I have also done a good number of years in social media.
One thing I have noted over those years is the disconnect between the figureheads in those two fields. Very conspicuous.
Many journalist who are prolific in the newspaper industry have little or no following on social media.
Apparently, I have so many friends on both sides. When you talk to a print journalist, his/her ideas only starts and ends with the newspaper. How he will get the story, compile it, have it sub-edited, placed on the page, printed and sold the following day.
A print journalist will even tell you he is not on Facebook or Twitter and will feel proud about it. After all there is a pay cheque every month.
Many renown radio and TV broadcasters have no following on social media platforms. I said many, not all.
On the other side are the so called bloggers. The writers who on their own initiatives have a multitude of following.
Some of them have no training on media or communication but that not notwithstanding they communicate to thousands, if not millions. Ask yourself who is Robert Also that everyone looks out for.
They may not follow any rules taught in journalism classes but they still write and people read.
And I mean bloggers, not mere facebookers like you and I who have other careers and only update their walls for leisure and social interactions and somehow along the way they also get contracted to influence.
Actually, there is no difference between you and I. You are a teacher or a business lady and Iam a lawyer, we only meet on FB when dropping in our ideas and opinion.
That’s why I keep wondering why anyone would get bothered by what I drop in yet I never get annoyed by what they bring.
Back to the topic, those in mainstream wait for salaries every end month. How the bloggers make their money is a different story.
The rubber meets the road when the guy in the mainstream loses the job or retires and now thinks he/she can join the other side of blogging or influencing, to make money. That’s when it hits him that he is a stranger there.
You were a wonderful TV personality. You lose the job. You try opening a YouTube channel and we don’t even notice.
The mistake that journalists in the mainstream media make is failing to distinguish between themselves and the media they work for. Remember juzi I asked you what journalists do when they retire as a way of sustaining their trade.
You could be the best anchor on Citizen TV or the best writer in Nation. When you leave the company, we forget about you and continue wanting Citizen and reading the paper written by young fellows.
But Dennis Itumbi is the brand, the media house. We even notice when he is offline for a week. And he will never retire and will never lose that brand.
My advise, play on both sides. If you believe you are a good, professional journalist in your own right, build an independent brand outside your employer. Get that YouTube channel when you are still hot. Before you get cold.
Ask Caroline Mutoko how she did it and move with it. Or else we will never know who you were in the next five years.