Media Watchdog sets Internet ablaze with stinging criticism: TV or sell avocados in Barbados?
Media Watchdog sets Internet ablaze with stinging criticism: TV or sell avocados in Barbados? https://t.co/zrVDwklazr
— James Ratemo (@KenyaCurrent) May 17, 2018
See the full commentary below as it appeared on the Media Watchdog
More than 12 hours after the dam tragedy in Nakuru last week, a Citizen TV reporter giving live updates from the scene appeared to have no clue about the basic facts. Who built the dam and when? And did the dam “burst its banks” or just burst? Or did it collapse? What was its capacity? Dam’s lifespan?
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A Mukorino man the reporter asked about when the dam was built was startled by the question. “Miaka mingi iliyopita lakini si mingi sana”, he said after some hesitation.
Very good. That is the answer you deserve for being a lazy scribe. How do you expect an old Mukorino to educate you about a dam? Well, unless he or his church built it.
Presenter Wahiga Mwaura in the studio, perhaps cursing under his breath, asked the reporter to go find out the details. It was embarrassing. Reporting a disaster became itself a disaster.
But this problem is not unique to Citizen TV’s man in Nakuru.
On Tuesday morning a KTN reporter – all wired- showed up at Ongata Rongai, Kajiado County. He was covering a demonstration by residents over a broken bridge that had killed several people. A straightforward story. But the man turned out to be a pain in the, er, ear.
The blessed TV reporter talked about “this particular bridge on this particular road…this particular county…was washed away in this particularly rainy season…it is no longer a bridge but a culvert…the governor has particularly…”
Heck! To misquote that famous Nollywood rib cracker ‘Long John’, even goats are getting into journalism nowadays.
Look, journalism is not a life-and-death matter. You can make it (or fake it) exporting avocados to Barbados. Or run a pub in Ngomongo. Or start a church in Githurai. You don’t have to be on TV, bro. We all know Kenya is bursting at the seams with opportunities for everyone (which is why we are offering Cuban doctors jobs). Go grab something you can do really well.
But if you insist news reporting is what you must do or die, then you need to know that good journalism is hard work. Forget the apparent glamour of the celebs on the silver screen. H.a.r.d w.o.r.k.
Whether you are in Rongai or Solai, research the story you are covering. Get as much detail as possible from knowledgeable sources. You will never conduct a superb interview in ignorance. You should already know fairly a lot about something before you ask the first question or accept to go live on air to scandalize yourself and your station.
Why ask an old Mukorino man complicated things like the age of a dam? Ask him instead how close we are to the end of the world or why their wives and daughters wear those beautiful long pleated dresses, you get?
Second, as a broadcaster work hard on the language(s) you use in reporting. You must be fluent. No two ways about it. That comes from rigorous practice. You are a storyteller. You will turn out to be a disaster if you can’t quickly get the right word or phrase (lots of ‘uuhs’ and ‘eeehs’ like those crooks in politics). Particularly try to avoid ‘particularly’ in your narration.
Third, you must teach yourself to think fast and analytically. Figure out things ahead of time to avoid ugly surprises. Be in control.
That will make your reporting authoritative and save you a lot of stress. Plus, you will keep this job you want to die for.
Here are some of the comments by readers online:
You are probably right with your criticism, but
– You are blaming it all on the individual, using harsh language showing the arrogance of the experienced peer who knows better. Why are you not blaming royalmedia for not training a better live coverage?
– you are criticizing an unnamed reporter. Insiders can find out who it is without being very inside. All the others are in the darkness, because they can just take or leave what you are writing. So, please provide us with the link to that live report on Citizen TV. It should not be difficult to find it out for you as the senior who knows so well.
– who are you, the writer of this post, anyway? Kindly do not duck and cover. That is too cheap. Or name the reason why you prefer to stay anonymous and hide behind the MCK.
Alvine A. Ambe:
TV or sell avocados in Barbados?
As a journalist who is passionate to see the media become more objective and factual I used to like your criticism until someone from your group decided to write this. This peace of work is full of arrogance and if I must say incompetence as well. I expected you to be objective as well and address the challenges facing journalists when it comes to reporting. Who told you ‘OLD MUKORONO’ is so incompetent to even tell what is happening around him? In reporting everyone is vital lead to information.
If may throw it back to you, don’t you think your sentiments are so discriminatory to the old people and the Korino people??? Why did you allow an individual to lower your integrity to the level of sensational blogers???
@Alvine, it’s “Mukorino” bro, not “Mukorono”! Anyway, I think the message from this author is succint – do your research before going on air. Get the facts right before you publish. And yes, the old man can be a source but what kind of a source? To put it differently, between a doctor and a policeman, who is best placed to confirm whether someone is dead? Over to you Sir.
Alvine A. Ambe:
The media observer has always been on point and I have loved the way they rectify and clarify information but on this article no! I disagree. This would have done so well with the sensational bloggers but not the Media Council. This is a very respected a reputable media regulation body. The media council is part of the media in Kenya. We expect objective criticism. The tone of this work is out of point.
“Look, journalism is not a life-and-death matter. You can make it (or fake it) exporting avocados to Barbados. Or run a pub in Ngomongo. Or start a church in Githurai. You don’t have to be on TV, bro. We all know Kenya is bursting at the seams with opportunities for everyone (which is why we are offering Cuban doctors jobs). Go grab something you can do really well.”
It is high time the Kenyan media matured. Please stop sending ‘clueless’ interns to report live. I love the criticism. As a watchdog sometimes you have to hit hard. No baby gloves anymore. Reporters must style up and stop the theatrics on air. Keep up the good work. As a journalist, I must say I am often ‘let down’ by the blunders
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