The Nation (Nairobi)

2 April 2007

Kenya: Sensational Stories Destructive

Nairobi — As usual, last Tuesday's edition of Smart Company in the Nation was an interesting and informative read. However, the cover story titled, 'Preaching from Ntalami's pulpit' was oddly uneven and poorly-balanced in its reporting.

The business editor, whose articles I have previously held in high esteem, spiralled into the murky depths of negative and emotive reporting, sadly reaffirming that the natural journalistic instinct is to look for aberrations.

Instead of also highlighting the steady growth in our capital markets, he chose to make a blatant swipe at their regulator. Ironically, and in quiet vindication of the regulators, our vibrant capital market consistently ranks amongst Africa's top performers, attracting significant interest from investors in as far flung places as Asia and the Middle East in recent times.

The editor also tried to make blanket suggestions that we should treat with suspicion all appointments of persons coming from a certain community (irrespective of their qualifications) for being perceived to be too closely linked to the presidency. This reeks of trivial, vindictive and archaic reporting.

Capital Market

Granted, our capital market like any other, faces daunting challenges; isolated instances of failure should not be used to smear the image of the entire stock brokerage fraternity.

Such lop-sided journalism that disregards the sensitivities involved in capital markets reporting serves only to depress and polarise the market, while fuelling more chaos in a highly information-sensitive market.

It is crucial for journalists to avoid sentimental and skewed journalism. Indeed, as newsreaders, we are increasingly becoming frustrated and disturbed by the volumes of negative reporting churned out from our media houses.

Despite the challenges we all face, there are slow, but visible gains being made in our country through the efforts of decent and hard-working Kenyans in all fields.

This refreshing angle of journalism has largely been overshadowed by lop-sided reporting.

VITALIS OJODE,

Nairobi.

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