NAIROBI, December 6 – The show that gives Kenyan sports journalists a platform to air independent views on local and international stories they cover, Off The Press (OTP), will mark its milestone 100th episode on Monday.
The live recording of the show that airs on SuperSport 9 East, Channel 219 will take a departure from its usual set-up of two journalist joining presenter, James Wokabi, with three with others who have made riveting viewing in preceding 99 programmes watching on big screens adjacent to the studio.
Running time will also be extended from 30 minutes to an hour with Celestine Kaloney of CCTV and radio journalists; Diamond Okusimba (Radio Jambo) and Mutwiri Mutuota (Capital FM) forming the panel.
The show that airs from 9:30pm to 10:30pm local time (+3GMT) will also give away two decoders and gift bags to lucky winners on social media interactions.
“It’s been an amazing 99 episodes giving Kenyan sports journalist a platform to air their independent views on the SuperSport platform. The show has grown in the past 2 years bringing diverse sports journalist discus the back pages headlining sports events both locally and internationally.
“The show has seen amazing debates sometimes setting agenda for the sports pages. For the 100th episode; the show will review the big sports of 2015 football, athletics and rugby and discuss the current news and also reviewing 2015,” producer Stephen Ng’ang’a underlined.
Besides the studio discussion, the show also interviewed top editors; Omulo Okoth (The Standard) and Watson Karuma (NTV) alongside veteran reporter, Ayumba Ayodi (Nation) on their outlook on the big stories of the year and agenda setting of the sports pages in print and segments in electronic media.
This year, some of the topics that have generated intense debate on the panel, social media and beyond include Harambee Stars, doping in athletics and the mess in Football Kenya Federation and Athletics Kenya.
OTP was the pioneering show of its kind in a country where the main media staple is politics and inspired local stations to establish their own sports discussion shows away from weekly round-ups of action.
It has helped seasoned sports journalists who hid behind newspaper and online by-lines and radio microphones be exposed to the audiences they serve in the evolving sports arena in the country.
Due to its uncensored content and panelists free of parent media houses editorial dictates, Off The Press has often fallen foul of top sports administrators who had not been accustomed to such rigorous public scrutiny before its roll out.
It has also given sports journalists the stage to expose back stories of headline stories that would otherwise remain outside the public domain due to editorial filtering.