By Silas Nyanchwani
In 3 weeks, three key columnists are being shown the door from the country’s main media house. Those of us with a liberal and independent mind and disposition should start seeking asylum.
The world is more colourful when we gave dissenting opinion. Yes men always ruin the country.
There is a reason even those in Jubilee often say that “Raila, should remain in opposition”. Because surely they know someone must check the government.
Even when biased, the Kenyan media has criticized the government, exposed scandals and stirred some good debates.
With rumoured changes in ownership, we should be worried.
The economy will slow down, that is for sure, investor flight is likely, poverty, drought and famine will definitely create dissent. But to crack on dissent we have the police on standby, and now the media will be used for propaganda and misinformation, with litttle accoubtability.
We have choices. In America, in Philadelphia, a nonprofit organization recently acquired the main newspapers facing that were nearly going bankrupt. It has changed the game.
Not sure if the model can work in Kenya. Where the public funds an independent media through a nonprofit. We are in a bad place, and it is about to get worse. We can keep quiet and suffer or we can stand up and defend the constitution and institutions that guard it.
Media ownership greatly influences how the media works. But in private hands, it works slightly better than when owned by people who run the government. If you remember Silvio Berluscon, part of the reason he used to misbehave is because he controls so much in the Italian economy from banking, to sports, to the media. Read on his reign and hoq disastrous it was.