Ask Kirubi: Change the narrative for a better future

August 3, 2017 (3 weeks ago)
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, Is there anything like responsible journalism? Are there those who sincerely practice it?

Each day as I read the dailies, I’m usually appalled by certain articles and wonder what the intention of the writer is. While every nation has its strengths and weaknesses, we need to be careful what we share with the world. Newspapers, news sites and social media indeed help market a country to the world. How we tell our stories is what determines how the world will perceive us. Media is a powerful tool that influences what we think, how we react and relate to events.

While journalists have the responsibility of sharing information and reporting daily happenings, there are certain times when a country’s environment is vulnerable. Such a time needs us to exercise caution while reporting these particular stories. Report responsibly. Don’t incite, be biased or provoke. Yours is not to cause alarm but to action those with the responsibility to find solutions. Yours is to market the country that despite its current challenges, it is a great country full of opportunity.

One way or another we all have a responsibility to report and discuss issues in a mature way. Can we hold ourselves accountable with every statement said? Can we present facts and not merely justify our statements with gossip?

Responsible journalism does not mean hiding the truth. As a journalist your obligation is to report facts but unfortunately, we have seen many articles that have been published only to be withdrawn after. Editors, you have a responsibility to make sure that stories published are authentic. Let’s all be accountable for what we write and say.

Hopefully after the elections, our narrative will change. Media will continue to report current affairs while showcasing various accomplishments and opportunities within the country. Gossip and drama sell. However, we have many beacons of hope whose stories go untold, tales from young business owners who have defied odds to make it and other narratives that will enhance pride and unity among the people.

Balance the narratives. Be the source to transform cultural norms, inspire better livelihoods and create a space for new ideas to flourish. You are our mirror.

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