Complaints against media in Kenya reached a crescendo when journalist and Citizen TV presenter Julie Gichuru stripped naked Sunday Nation’s Lifestyle magazine for glaring distortions in a feature interview with her where they out-rightly misrepresented facts.
They reported Julie dropped out of Law School to pursue journalism while in actual fact Julie was a 1st class honors LLB graduate who went on to pursue MBA in England and later joined media. Here below is Julie’s rants. Now she understands when CORD, Odinga or any other non Mt Kenya politician or personality is misrepresented!
An open letter on Media Accuracy:
Ref: Sunday Nation Lifestyle Magazine, July 20th, pg 5
I appreciate that the Sunday Nation Lifestyle Magazine decided to do a piece on me however I am concerned at the distortion of the first question in the article. Thankfully, due to my experience with print media, I always opt to conduct interviews on email to avoid any inaccuracies. My caution was certainly in order as illustrated by this incident.
Truth be told, it would have been a lovely piece if the writer had avoided the temptation to omit critical facts and to distort and falsify the first question, coming up with the narrative that I quit law school to study journalism. Two small problems: I did not quit law school and I did not study journalism.
I highlight this because it is a frightening example of what can go wrong so easily with media. The answers were all there. But somehow it wasn’t exciting enough and the narrative was changed.
I am lucky that I have a voice that is amplified due to my presence in the media, but what happens to so many who don’t?
Sunday Nation Lifestyle Interview with Julie Gichuru titled “I quit law school to become a journalist” (which happen to be words that I never uttered)
The actual question & answer:
Qtn 25. From the records, at a tender age of 10, you wanted to be a criminal lawyer, what happened?
I studied law and found that in principle I disagreed with most of the laws on Evidence. I felt they were skewed and inequitable. I had a greater love and passion for commercial law. It was unexpected but I adapted.
The amended & published question & answer that appeared as question 1 and the focus of the interview:
Q: Did you always want to be a journalist?
I studied law and found that in principle I disagreed with most of the laws on evidence. I felt they were skewed and inequitable. So I dropped out to pursue a degree in journalism.
In an earlier question The issue of educational background had already been addressed:
Qtn 11. What do you consider as the biggest career decision you ever have made?
I have made several big career decisions and each of them proved to be a huge factor in my growth both in career and also on knowledge.
The first was to move from my initial career pathâ€¦ I studied Law and then did an MBA with a focus on World Trade Law and International Business, but I ended up in media.
Dear Nation Media Group,
What remedy do we have in situations like this?