Can you trust the Kenyan media?

Dec 19 2014
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A crisis of trust (and related concerns about their credibility and reliability) is haunting the media that was once considered the most trusted institutions in Kenya. Although not insurmountable, such a crisis points to growing concerns about the place of the media in a society. When announcing the withdrawal from the presidential debate, Jubilee claimed that the “whole thing smells of conmanship”. And he raised the issue of not ‘knowing’ the organisers and their intentions. “On whose behalf are the organisers acting, and what mandate do they have to organise the debate?” he wondered. I argued last week that such words may have far-reaching consequences on the place and role of the media in Kenya mainly because they question the very essence of the media in the country’s politics and democracy, and their ability to provide important information upon which people base their decisions.

Credibility and reliability

Worse, his observations point to the declining relationship between certain sources of information, protagonists in media platforms, and the credibility and reliability as an institution that ought to inform and educate the public and thence contribute to the development of (a democratic) society. Currently, there are concerns that the media are not objective, impartial, and that their reports are not balanced. A blemish on such key journalistic tenets or principles means people will start to look at the media with suspicion.

We at TND value the true relaying of information, especially about what we do and how we are doing it and when. Media credibility contributes to a country’s respecting the rights of the citizens involved.

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