Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Welcome back! It has been a hectic time running around and trying to keep track on the changing face of Kenyan politics. My close friend David Makali (pictured) has left the Sunday Standard where he was my boss in a very interesting way. It all boils down to media freedom, ownership and the place of radical thoughts in an emerging democracy. We have worked together with David since those hectic days of The People weekly, once Kenya's most successful weekly, and later on when I was contributing for expression today published by the Media Institute which he started from scratch.
I hear that David was crucified for running a music radio programme at the Kenya Brodacsting Corporation which was perceived as "conflict of interest". I do not buy that storyline although that is the official line in my place of work.
But Makali goes down (I think up) as one of the most independent career journalists I have come across. We share many ideals on freedom of expression and has been my referee on several occassions and can say nice words about me when I need him. That is why I pen this blog in his honour and tell him go...go...man.
But there are several other thoughts that we need to address what is the role of media in an growing democracy?
Our role is to inform, entertain, and educate regardless of any limits set by other forces. That right should never be taken away from any journalist and any media owner must give in and let the press enjoy its freedom if it has to retain credibility.
I say that because credibility of any media is its driving force and that cannot be achieved if censorship, and back-stabbing is not contained in any media house.
Last night we talked about these issues with coleagues and we agreed that Kenyan media is facing a test of time. We are watching it and from now on you will hear more of these here in the blog...keep visiting.