By Caleb Simba
Martin Luther King Jnr once said and I quote “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right”.
After the promulgation of the constitution 2010 Kenyans from all walks of live took a brake in their life time to celebrate freedom. The most important milestone we came as a nation was media freedom, freedom of expression and speech.
Kenya’s liberation struggle was nearing the end, we celebrated heroes and heroines from the 1st and 2nd liberation those alive and the deceased.
Journalists of the 21st century started coming up boldly and fearlessly preparing and airing stories that were never aired before in post independent Kenya. CNN confirmed this by awarding some. We celebrate Journalists Mohamed Ali, John John Allan Namu, Dennis Onsarigo, Robert Alai just but to mention.They exhibited boldness in discharging their professional mandate.
However after march 4th 2013 Elections our country’s freedom was threatened, once again we took an about turn in our quest for an enhanced media freedom. Immediately after the Jubilee leadership was sworn into office, their 1st ever meeting was with the media stakeholders including Journalists, columnist and media owners. They signed an agreement subconsciously, that derailed media freedom quest and risked undermining the fundamental right of expression. Few days later the Jubilee administration through its Tyranny of fools in the National Assembly sponsored the draconian media bill 2013.
At this point media owners and media stakeholders were threatened, they moved to court to challenge bill.
Government continued offensively undermining the media freedom. They gave a chinese company in collaboration with KBC the official government broadcast the only licence that can transmit digital signals as the country was transcending to digital era.The bigger goal however was to pin down the opposition and the voice of reason as they drag our nation to dictatorial reign. The country’s main Media houses and renounced individual Journalist were targeted with threats and monies. Unfortunately they succumbed! News must be edited before being aired. Those who criticized government as columnist were either denied their daily columns or reduced slowly and soon will be jerked out completely.
On July 7th the country’s media freedom compromise was made live and public when the media were directed to switch off their wave transmission from Uhuru Park during the Saba Saba Rally.
After successfully winning in the mainstream media they extended their offensive charm to the social media, a serious crackdown is currently underway strictly geared to members of opposition. The arrest and detainment of bloggerÂ Dikembe DisembeÂ was an example and the storm is yet to come.
Ladies and Gentlemen the Kenyan mainstream media is currently an extension of the president’s PR wing. They sing, dance and report state house and the president’s antics. Coating them in gold and silver. They have sidelined the voice of reason ie the opposition.
Last week for example the Media was allover praising and creating stories on how the US president Barrack Obama had invited Uhuru Kenyatta to white house in Washington DC, despite the fact that it was an African-USA summit, they went further and orchestrated and manufactured a lie that Obama will award Uhuru 20 B dollars for LAPPSET.
KTN went a step ahead airing a story “Similarities between Obama and Uhuru Kenyatta! mockery of our times.
They went a step further to use Photoshop images both in electronic and print media in airing news to the public! what a shame! do we have media ethics in practice in kenya today?
Ethics to Jubilee generation media is when you entice government, sing its praises.
Independent minded and investigative journalist like Mohamed Ali have since disappeared from the National arena don’t expect them soon.
Its the media that’s fighting its own freedom, and they seem contented.