By Mohammed Hersi
Reality is that we have had fantastic press freedom in Kenya .
Sadly the same media have gone overboard. The stuff we see and read puts to shame even the west who we try to emulate .
Even now with the 3 Key TV stations shutdown they are still streaming online. The net has NOT been affected in any way nor social media, all papers are running normaly including radio stations so in essence we can’t say it’s a crackdown.
When we loosely use words like Dictatorship, do we really know what that means ? Ethiopia and Rwanda rising African nations or even Egypt will not entertain an iota of what we go through here.
Media is supposed to stand for the truth without any fear or favour but we have senior key journalists who have openly taken sides . Let’s face it , watching or listening to some of the journalists you wonder how on earth will they be fair ? Their personal social media handles or pages are even worse. If these journalists truly feel that they want to actively take part in politics then leave the media house. You cannot choose to eat your cake at the same time have it.
Opposition does not mean you say anything you wish and you dont expect to be held to account . Day in day out you keep daring the Goverment of the day .That is total abuse of so-called freedom. Granted main media has not dubbed in such extremes but they ain’t innocent either.
Finally how many of us truly truly miss the TV Stations ? Self styled analysts where majority would always be driven by tribal card and where their bread is buttered.
Media Kenya must seriously reflect on way forward and this shutdown period should be period for them to review what is right and what is wrong . They should consider this a sabbatical and reflect hard.
As a Rotarians I urge Media Kenya to reflect on our Four Way Test:
The 4-Way Test of the things we think, say or do:
1. Is it the TRUTH?
2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
3. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
Sadly the biased journalists have completely failed Test No 2. I hope and trust that these few days of these TV stations shutdown they will use the time to seriously reflect on the future.
There is a huge difference of running a mainstream media channel right in the heart of a capital city as opposed to some guerrilla owned TV station broadcasting from some safe haven.
I leave you with the wise words of Lee Kuan Yew when he said ” Singapore needs a press that is free as is needed to Serve Singapore” well the same should apply to Kenya as we also demand for non partisan media and as always I choose to remain an optimist.