MISLEADING REPORTING ON ANC FORD KENYA AND DP WILLIAM RUTO BY NATION NEWSPAPER
Our attention has been drawn to a front-page story in today’s Saturday Nation [13 June, 2020] headlined, “Ruto bags Mudavadi, Wetangula.”
The story purports to report about a meeting that brought together 26 Members of Parliament from Western Kenya yesterday, at the Nairobi résidence of the ANC Party Leader H. E. Musalia Mudavadi, EGH.
Instead, however, the “reporters” go on to peddle outright falsehoods, half truths and sundry innuendo, disguised as news. The net objective is to spin a pejoratively intended narrative that “a besieged ” deputy president William Ruto has “roped in the ANC Leader and his Ford K counterpart,” in the DP’s search to be elected President in 2022.
The said “report” misleads the readers that this is what was discussed at the Mudavadi residence meeting. For avoidance of doubt, no such matter was discussed at all. It is also true that there were no reporters from the Nation, or elsewhere, at the event. The source of this misleading story is, therefore, the rumour mill.
Good journalism frowns at rumours and rumour mongers. The least “the absent reporter” needs to do is to diversify sourcing and authenticate the story. Diversity does not just mean the number of individuals quoted, but also the variety of typology. You could talk to 100 people but end up like one who talked to only one source.
That we have single source news stories now preponderant in our outlets in Kenya speaks of how low the profession has sunk. The undersigned is a humble journalist of long standing and one who is sufficiently apprised of times when standards mattered in the Kenyan nation’s journalism.
Be that as it may, let us state clearly that the Nation report is pure falsehood and baseless. The issues discussed at the meeting were captured in a press release that was widely circulated to media houses.
Regarding 2022, we will cross that bridge in good time. For now, we are aware that the Deputy President aspires to ascend to the presidency as does Hon. Wetangula and H . E. Mudavadi. They are all potential competitors for the same prize.
We are also aware that the DP may not be averse to supporting either Hon. Wetangula or H.E. Mudavadi. This is support we will welcome, if it comes. We want votes and it does not matter where they will come from.
It is unethical, however, for persons passing for journalists to publish a story of magnitude of such a story now under reference, loaded with untruths and innuendo and to present it as factual, and with a screaming headline, “Ruto bags ….” We are not merchandise to be bagged.
Finally, we will at the appropriate time seek votes from everywhere, as stated, including from Dr. Ruto and we will not cave in to blackmail, be it from our political competitors or from crusading journalists and media houses.
SECRETARY GENERAL, ANC