Cash for Editorials and other unethical practices are rife in the print and broadcast media in many countries around the world, even in the developed world .However in Kenya we suffer from a systematic pattern (an epidemic) of bad TV journalism. Kenyan media houses are now cesspools of institutionalized & unethical journalistic practices.[NTV takes the cake] Personal opinions have shamelessly slithered into everyday news reporting.
Even though media house editorial opinions as a distinct news segment is an internationally acceptable news practice,opinions in many countries normally appear at the end of broadcast and are clearly identified as a station opinion.It is also expected that opinion should also be a result of good editorial judgment not personal political propaganda or tribal psychopathic sycophancy brewed at political party HQs.
The Kenyan practice of opinionated voice overs on news stories(giving a personal opinion as part of the news clip) would not be tolerated in any first class ethical media house anywhere in the world.Yet in Kenya it has been accepted. It is a completely unethical and unbecoming way of reporting and totally unacceptable of any upcoming democratic society.Only in Kenya do we continue to accept such blatant fourth estate hooliganism and shameful slanting of the news .
Good journalism demands that journalist should report news and keep his or her personal opinions to themselves. In a nation like ours it is irresponsible and dangerous for the media to continue with such journalistic malpractices and maleficence. Media houses should strive to be objective ,truthful and neutral .On Nation TV for instance how can one explain the constant news clips portraying certain leaders in bad light with voice overs that have nothing to do with the clip,while blatantly ignoring the incitement by others.Yes the media should report on what our politicians say! But ethical journalism would dictate that we the audience watch the clips without the voice overs in order to make our own minds/opinion on the news story . Any objective (personal or organizational)opinion on any news story can be addressed by the news anchor in studio after the clip is played or in a separate station opinion section.That clearly states its an opinion.That is how professional journalist around the world carry out their trade. There is absolutely no reason why we Kenyans should accept less and put up with substandard TV journalism and reporters who feel they have to inform us of their opinions.In short- We don’t need to be spoon fed,we Kenyans can analyze and digest the news without biased or pathetic voice overs.Kenyan TV journalist should report the news not create news.Let the audience listen to the news makers(not the reporter) and make up their own minds.
P.S*-Every-time journalist are seeking a legal opinion on public policy/political issue why do they have to keep going to the same politically biased group of university professors (Oloo,Macharia Munene etc) or the same tired lawyers ( Ex ODM/PNU) in a country with thousands of young educated legal minds who are not actively partisan.It is pathetic that we complain about our bad politicians yet we are surrounded by incompetence and substandard professionalism all over.And can someone please tell our media there is no such word as “Youths” (sic)- It is Youth !